Made up of two long, narrow islands (the North and South Islands), New Zealand has become synonymous in a very short period of time, with high quality and classic examples of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Marlborough, the sunniest region in New Zealand’s South Island, produces the New World’s benchmark style of Sauvignon Blanc- young, crisp, herbaceous, flinty with gooseberries and aromas of cut grass.
When you go to New Zealand, the air you breathe reflects this new classic style; you can literally taste the wine in the air! And vice versa!
New Zealand is a prime example of the New World way of wine. The international varieties that are now so successful were only planted in the 1970′s! Previously, lesser known varieties were used for Sherry and Port production but no dry wines were made.
It is also worth noting that New Zealand is only a very tiny player in the world of wine, only in the top 50 of production! But its biggest export market is the UK, hence us knowing them so well- we seem to love New Zealand wines! Young, fresh, vibrant wines that are consistently high quality, easy to drink and easy to choose as the labelling and region classifications are very consumer friendly.
A huge spectrum of grape varieties are grown within New Zealand, as the climate varies enormously within each Island and between the North and South Island themselves. But being a cooler country, grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are successfully grown and flourish here, whereas in many countries they cannot reach their full potential.
New Zealand has advanced technology; everything about it is ‘New World’. They use large, stainless steel vats and temperature-controlled fermentation which all aid in producing consistent quality in their wines.
Winemakers in New Zealand are constantly improving all areas of vine management and winemaking, and also exploring new planting regions alongside expanding existing ones. This makes New Zealand a very exciting country for wine!
The main wine regions are:
- Nelson and Central Otago
- Hawkes Bay
- Sauvignon Blanc with its herbaceous, acidic and cut grass aromas
- Wide range of Chardonnay styles from creamy, rounded, vanilla styles to un-oaked, fresh and peachy ones
- Complex plum and cherry flavoured Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Bordeaux style blends
- Superb quality sparkling wines made with the same grape combination as Champagne
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
- Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon blends
- Felton Road Pinot Noir
- New Zealand Sparkling wines
- Smaller boutique vineyard wines