New Zealand

New Zealand is a remote island nation in the Pacific Ocean, a thousand miles or so south-east of Australia. It lies between latitudes 36°S and 45°S, making it the world's southernmost wine-producing nation. New Zealand has 10 major wine-growing regions spread across the North and South Islands, the most important of which is Marlborough.

A variety of wines are made in New Zealand, the most famous of which are the pungent, grassy whites made from Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough. Pinot Noir has also proved itself well suited to New Zealand's terroir and has made itself at home in Martinborough, Marlborough and most famously in Central Otago, where the wines can be described as dense and muscular with strong flavors of dark fruit. The aromatic varieties Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer have found a niche in the cooler parts of the South Island, and Syrah the Bordeaux Blend varieties (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) do well in the warmer parts of the North Island.

Most of New Zealand's wine regions have a maritime climate. The long, thin shape of the country means that vineyards are never more than 75 miles (120km) from the coast, and most are in fact far closer than this (with the exception of the semi-continental Central Otago region). A spine of mountains that runs through the middle of the country – from the Tongariro National Park in the North Island to the Southern Alps in the South Island – protects most of the main wine regions from the strong westerly winds from the Tasman Sea that are known as the Roaring Forties. Because of these winds, there are few wine regions on New Zealand's west coast.

New Zealand lies on the boundary between the Pacific and the Indo-Australian tectonic plate, contributing to the volcanic soils that are found in many of New Zealand's wine regions, particularly in the North Island. Wine regions in the South Island owe more geographically to glacial movement.

Producers

Grape Types

Appellation

Filter by price

Order by