Incredibly zingy, gooseberry-scented Sauvignon Blancs are New Zealand's signature style. They first won international acclaim in the mid 1980s and since then, the country has more than proven it's not just a 'one-trick pony'.
Today New Zealand sparkling wine, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir (especially from Central Otago), Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah too are widely acclaimed. Not bad for a country which, in the 1960s, had but 1,000 acres of vines!
By world standards, New Zealand still makes only a tiny quantity of wine - about one tenth of Australia's output. Its excellent quality, however, means the average bottle price is higher than that of any other wine-producing country.
"No longer a one-grape-wonder, New Zealand has moved on from its Sauvignon base to become a country where variety and quality combine to make it one of the most exciting new wine regions in the world."
Christine Austin, Decanter Magazine
"New Zealand's natural gift is what the winemakers of Australia and California are striving for: the conditions that give slowly ripened, highly aromatic fruit."
Hugh Johnson's Wine Companion
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Syrah
Hunters, Cloudy Bay, Forrest Estate, Montana
Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Nelson, Central Otago
- The seeds of the New Zealand wine industry we know today were sown by Dalmatian and Lebanese immigrants around Auckland in the early 20th century.
- Vines were not grown on the South Island at all until 1973 when Montana established a vineyard in Marlborough. Others soon followed suit.
- While other wine countries are experiencing challenging times, New Zealand appears to be booming with one new winery opening every week. That's a 10% annual growth rate!