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New Zealand

Learn about the hidden gem of the South Pacific. New Zealand has 10 wine regions spread across the main islands, producing noteworthy Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines.

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Top 10 Varieties
-377 Common Native Varieties

The greenest wine country.

New Zealand reigns as the “Sauvignon Blanc capital of the world” with nearly 50,000 acres planted throughout the country. On the whole, New Zealand produces excellent cool-climate varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris.

What’s interesting is New Zealand’s unparalleled commitment to sustainability. To date, 98% of vineyards are above the ISO 14001 sustainability standard and 7% operate organically. This is no small feat, considering it's harder to be organic in a cool climate.

Top Regions
-89,400 Acres (2016)

Wine Regions

The cooler regions of Marlborough, Nelson, and Wairarapa make Sauvignon Blanc with passionfruit aromas and such high acidity, that it’s not uncommon to see some residual sugar, even if you can’t taste it. Marlborough’s Pinot Noir is restrained and herbaceous, and Riesling and Pinot Gris are quite the find.

Despite the southerly latitude of Central Otago, the region is sunny and dry and produces great Pinot Noir. You’ll find these wines typically have sweet dark berry notes supported by a gravelly minerality, and clove-like spice. Yum!

On the North Island, from Hawke’s Bay north, there are surprising red wines including elegant and plummy Syrah and Merlot. Gisborne is known for rich and creamy Chardonnay which, when made well, has enough acidity to age for 5-10 years. Surprising finds here include Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc.

Recent New Zealand Articles


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Pinot Noir of Marlborough on the Rise

Pinot Noir is growing in popularity in Marlborough, New Zealand. The area known for its Sauvignon Blanc has a new rising wine star.

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New Zealand Chardonnay – Jewel of the South Pacific

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New Zealand Wine: Guide to Hawkes Bay

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Cover Image for 7 Regions Define New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

7 Regions Define New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

Learn the taste differences and tips to find value and quality New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from the 7 regions from a wine pro who lived and breathed Sauvignon Blanc on the South island.

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