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Wine in New Zealand

Exploring the wines of New Zealand.

New Zealand, a nation renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and unique biodiversity, is also home to an array of exceptional wine regions just waiting to be explored. With the perfect terroir and innovative winemaking techniques, the wines of New Zealand have made their mark on the global wine stage. Embark on a vinicultural journey through the country’s North and South Islands, discovering diverse regions, signature wines, and the story behind each sip.

New Zealand wine

  • Explore New Zealand’s signature wines, from Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to Central Otago Pinot Noir and Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Experience the unique terroir of Auckland, Wairarapa, Marlborough, North Canterbury and Nelson through sustainable winemaking practices.
  • Enjoy a gastronomic journey with local seafood delicacies paired with world class wines on wine trails & tours.

Discovering New Zealand's signature wines

New Zealand’s wine industry is as diverse as the country itself, offering a range of signature wines that have garnered international acclaim, including the exceptional Zealand red wines. Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, Pinot Noir from Central Otago, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Hawke’s Bay are the stars that shine brightly in New Zealand’s vinicultural firmament.

Marlborough, the country’s most acclaimed wine region, is known for its crisp and fruity Sauvignon Blanc, a hallmark of New Zealand’s wines. Conversely, the earthy and intense Pinot Noir from Central Otago has earned numerous accolades in global wine competitions.

Not to be overlooked, the Hawke’s Bay region boasts of its Cabernet Sauvignon, a testament to the diverse terroir and viticultural prowess found in Hawke’s Bay.

Sauvignon Blanc: Marlborough's Star

The Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough plays a pivotal role in New Zealand’s wine industry, recognized internationally for its crisp, fruity flavors. The region’s climate, characterized by long sunny days and cool nights, contributes to the wine’s intense aromas and sets it apart from the rest. Cloudy Bay Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first to garner international attention in 1985, putting Marlborough on the map as a world-class wine-producing region.

Marlborough’s repertoire extends beyond Sauvignon Blanc to include globally recognized Pinot Noir. Some notable examples of Marlborough Pinot Noir wines include:

  • The Ned Pinot Noir 2020 from Marisco Vineyard, which scored 95 points and won a gold medal at the IWSC 2022
  • Te Whare Ra Pinot Noir, produced by female winemakers who are making their mark in the industry
  • Jules Taylor Pinot Noir, another standout wine from Marlborough

Marlborough continues to innovate and impress wine enthusiasts from around the globe.

Pinot Noir: Central Otago's gem

The Pinot Noir from Central Otago is a treasure in the wine realm, esteemed for its intense, earthy flavors and superior production. The region is divided into various subregions, including:

  • Bannockburn
  • Bendigo
  • Gibbston
  • Queenstown

Each subregion contributes to the unique characteristics of Central Otago Pinot Noir. With its rich, earthy flavors and a fuller fruit finish reminiscent of plum, blackberry, and kiwi, Central Otago Pinot Noir stands out among New Zealand’s red wines.

Internationally recognized producers of Pinot Noir in Central Otago include:

  • Felton Road
  • Martinborough Vineyard
  • Schubert Wines
  • Te Kairanga
  • Ata Rangi
  • Palliser Estate
  • Luna Estate
  • Dry River
  • Escarpment
  • Te Hera
  • Craggy Range

These wineries have established themselves as premier producers of this variety and are renowned for producing premium quality wines that showcase the essence of their unique terroir.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Hawke's Bay's pride

Hawke’s Bay is proud of its Cabernet Sauvignon, a red wine that reflects the region’s diverse terroir and winemaking dexterity. The region is home to some of the finest vineyards in New Zealand, with gravelly soils contributing to the character of the wines. The Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle sub-regions of Hawke’s Bay are especially renowned for their Syrah wines, reflecting the diversity of the region’s wine production.

Wineries like:

  • Craggy Range
  • Te Mata
  • Tiki Wine & Vineyards
  • The Responsible Hedonist
  • Amoise Winery

are well worth a visit, offering a taste of Hawke’s Bay’s finest wines. The Church Road Grand Reserve Syrah 2019, for example, received 95 points and a gold medal at the IWSC 2022. With a focus on quality and a commitment to showcasing the region’s unique characteristics, Hawke’s Bay continues to impress wine lovers worldwide.

A journey through New Zealand's wine regions

Journey through the New Zealand wine regions to unearth the North Island’s highlights like Auckland and Wairarapa, as well as the South Island’s gems, including Marlborough, North Canterbury, and Nelson. Each region offers a unique terroir, climate, and winemaking approach, contributing to the diverse range of wines produced in the country.

From the North Island’s diverse landscapes and boutique wineries to the South Island’s stunning scenery and world-class wines, New Zealand offers a wine experience unlike any other. With a focus on quality and sustainability, the country’s winemakers continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, crafting exceptional wines that are enjoyed by enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Auckland and Wairarapa are the North Island highlights

In addition to its bustling urban center, Auckland, also known as the City of Sails, is characterized by a diverse wine region featuring subzones such as Kumeu, Waiheke Island, and Matakana. The region’s wineries offer a wide range of varietals, from crisp whites to bold reds, reflecting the diverse landscapes and terroir of the area. Wairarapa, on the other hand, is a boutique wine region known for its Pinot Noir, with wineries like Ata Rangi, Dry River, Schubert Wines, and On Giants’ Shoulders making their mark on the global stage.

The North Island’s wine regions also offer unique wine tourism experiences, such as cycling the Golden Mile in Marlborough or wine tasting sessions at renowned wineries in Central Otago. With a focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship, New Zealand’s winemakers are committed to producing high-quality wines that reflect the land’s unique terroir and heritage.

Marlborough, North Canterbury, and Nelson are South Island treasures

The South Island of New Zealand houses some of the country’s most scenic zealand wine regions, with Marlborough, North Canterbury, and Nelson standing out as prominent areas within the Zealand wine region.

  • Marlborough, the largest wine region in New Zealand, is renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
  • North Canterbury is celebrated for its cool, windy, and dry climate.
  • Nelson, a smaller wine region nestled between the mountains and the sea, boasts a diverse range of varietals that reflect the unique terroir of the area.

These South Island treasures offer a range of immersive experiences for wine enthusiasts, from visiting iconic wineries to exploring scenic wine trails and tours. Discover the harmony between New Zealand’s stunning landscapes and world-class wines as you journey through these diverse regions, each offering its unique charm and vinicultural heritage.

The art of winemaking in New Zealand

Winemaking in New Zealand is firmly anchored in sustainability principles and regenerative farming practices. With a focus on land stewardship and environmentally-friendly practices, the country’s winemakers are dedicated to crafting exceptional wines that not only showcase the unique terroir of their regions but also ensure the preservation of the land for future generations.

In addition to embracing sustainability, many winemakers in New Zealand are also adopting regenerative farming practices, which focus on enhancing soil health, biodiversity, and water retention. By working with nature rather than against it, New Zealand’s wine industry is paving the way for a more sustainable and responsible approach to viniculture, ensuring the continued production of high-quality wines that are enjoyed by wine lovers worldwide.

Embracing sustainability

Pioneering sustainability, New Zealand’s winemakers prioritize land stewardship and eco-friendly practices in their winemaking process. From employing water conservation techniques and energy efficiency measures to reducing waste, the country’s wineries are committed to preserving the land and ensuring the continued production of exceptional wines for generations to come.

Regenerative farming

Regenerative farming is a growing trend in New Zealand’s wine industry, with a focus on restoring and enhancing soil health and the encompassing ecosystem. By employing principles such as building soil health, enhancing biodiversity, and utilizing natural inputs like compost and cover crops, regenerative farming not only supports the production of high-quality, nutrient-rich wines but also fosters a more sustainable and resilient agrarian system.

Wine tourism in New Zealand

Wine tourism in New Zealand provides an immersive exploration of the country’s diverse wine regions and a taste of their exceptional wines. From the picturesque vineyards of Marlborough to the rugged beauty of Central Otago, there is a wealth of must-visit wineries and wine trails to discover throughout the country.

Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, New Zealand’s wine trails and tours offer unforgettable experiences that showcase the country’s diverse wine regions and the passionate winemakers who craft their world-class wines. With a focus on sustainability and an appreciation for the land, New Zealand’s wine industry invites visitors to explore the country’s vinicultural treasures and savor the unique flavors of its exceptional wines.

Must-visit wineries

From iconic producers like Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, and Neudorf Vineyards to emerging estates such as Te Kano and Schubert Wines, New Zealand boasts a variety of must-visit wineries. These wineries offer a glimpse into the country’s diverse wine regions, showcasing the unique terroir and winemaking techniques that set New Zealand wines apart on the world stage.

In addition to the renowned wineries mentioned above, visitors to New Zealand can also explore lesser-known gems that are making their mark in the industry. With a focus on quality, innovation, and sustainability, these up-and-coming wineries offer unique experiences for those looking to venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden treasures of New Zealand’s wine regions.

Wine trails and tours

New Zealand’s wine trails and tours offer a range of immersive experiences that showcase the country’s picturesque wine regions and the exceptional wines they produce. From cycling the Golden Mile in Marlborough, a popular destination for wine-loving cyclists that encompasses numerous wineries and art galleries, to guided tasting sessions in Central Otago, each trail and tour provides an opportunity to explore the unique characteristics of the region and its wines.

In addition to exploring the renowned wine regions like Marlborough and Central Otago, visitors can also discover the lesser-known wine trails of North Canterbury and Nelson, each offering a unique charm and vinicultural heritage. With a focus on quality, sustainability, and a deep appreciation for the land, New Zealand’s wine trails and tours invite visitors to embark on a journey through the country’s vinicultural treasures and savor the unique flavors of its exceptional wines.


Pairing New Zealand wines with local cuisine

Savor the harmonious pairing of New Zealand wines with local cuisine, whether it’s seafood specialties or farm-to-table dishes. The country’s diverse culinary landscape provides ample opportunities to savor the harmony between its exceptional wines and the flavors of its local dishes, offering a gastronomic journey that is both delicious and memorable.

Whether you’re indulging in the freshest seafood caught along the country’s pristine coastline or savoring the flavors of its rich agricultural heritage, there’s no better way to complement your meal than with a glass of New Zealand wine. Discover the perfect pairings that showcase the harmony between the country’s diverse wines and its local cuisine, and indulge in a culinary experience you won’t soon forget.

Seafood delights

New Zealand’s coastal regions yield a wealth of fresh seafood options, including:

  • Crayfish
  • King salmon
  • Green-lipped mussels
  • Pāua (abalone)

Pair these seafood delights with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or an aromatic Pinot Gris to enhance the subtle flavors and showcase the freshness of the catch.

The country’s fertile coastal waters and commitment to sustainable fishing practices ensure that its seafood is renowned for its freshness and flavor. Experience the harmony between New Zealand’s seafood dishes and its exceptional wines, and savor the unique flavors of its coastal bounty.

Farm-to-table fare

Farm-to-table fare is a testament to New Zealand’s rich agricultural heritage, with dishes that highlight the country’s commitment to sustainability and land stewardship. From succulent roast lamb to flavorsome Bluff oysters, the farm-to-table cuisine of New Zealand is a celebration of the country’s diverse landscapes and the bounty they provide.

Pair a bold Pinot Noir or a rich Cabernet Sauvignon with these farm-to-table dishes to enhance the flavors and create a harmonious dining experience. With a focus on quality, sustainability, and a deep appreciation for the land, New Zealand’s farm-to-table fare and its exceptional wines offer a culinary journey that is both delicious and memorable.

An encounter with New Zealand wine

New Zealand’s diverse wine regions, innovative winemaking techniques, and commitment to sustainability have earned the country a well-deserved reputation for producing exceptional wines. From the crisp Sauvignon Blanc of Marlborough to the earthy Pinot Noir of Central Otago, New Zealand’s wines offer a unique taste of the country’s rich vinicultural heritage. Embark on a journey through the picturesque wine regions, indulge in farm-to-table cuisine, and experience the harmony between the land and the wines it produces. Discover the treasures of New Zealand’s wine industry and raise a glass to the passion, dedication, and innovation that make it truly exceptional.

What is New Zealand's most famous wine?

New Zealand's most famous wine is its Sauvignon Blanc, dominating the nation's grape production and exports. Its maritime climate and southern location produce wines with a distinctive flavor profile and crisp acidity.

What are the 2 famous grapes of New Zealand?

New Zealand is renowned for its two most famous grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Pinot Noir is world-renowned from the South Island's distinct style, while Pinot Gris has grown in prominence in the shadow of Sauvignon Blanc.

What is the most famous wine region in New Zealand?

Marlborough Marlborough District or the Marlborough Region, located on the northeast of the South Island, is the most famous wine region in New Zealand. It is home to the country's definitive style of sauvignon blanc and produces upwards of 80 percent of New Zealand's crop. Winemakers from Malborough produce a diversity of wines, including intense Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and wines from aromatic grape varieties.

What are some must-visit wineries in New Zealand?

For a truly memorable experience, make sure to visit Cloudy Bay, Felton Road, Neudorf Vineyards, Te Kano, and Schubert Wines when travelling around New Zealand's wineries.

How does New Zealand's wine industry focus on sustainability?

New Zealand's wine industry is dedicated to sustainability, implementing practices such as land stewardship, environmentally-friendly approaches, and regenerative farming.

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