Ascension is known as much for the gigs it puts on as it is for its wines. One of the first major vineyards you see as you head towards Matakana, it's hard to miss with its Italian-style architecture and sweeping rows of vines. It's easy to stop off at their cellar door for a tasting and buy a couple of chosen bottles to save for later. Just as impressive is their restaurant, opening up to a courtyard built for summer that teases you to stay a little longer. Although it has recently changed hands, I'm sure the new owners will want to keep up Ascension's reputation for seriously good wine and food.