New Zealand

New Zealand wine occupies a place in the market and the mind of the U.K. wine drinker far more significant than the amount it produces. This is partly because such a high proportion of the (relatively) little it does make is exported, but also because the wines have a distinctive freshness and clarity about them which you don’t find anywhere else.

The climate of New Zealand is varied as you can imagine, ranging from subtropical Auckland to much cooler continental temperatures in the south.  Coast influence classifies the majority of vine growing regions as having a maritime climate with the exception of Central Otago which is dry and continental.  Most vineyards are planted on the east coast which is better protected from the high rainfall to the west. To manage humidity in the vineyards, canopy management and spray regime are essential for disease control. Most wines are made unoaked in stainless steel to preserve a pure and crisp style and almost all wines are bottled under screwcap.

The most well known region is perhaps Marlborough, the country's sunniest area. The best vineyards here are planted on stony soils with Sauvignon Blanc, which turned heads and put NZ on the map when it first appeared with its unique and intense flavour, and satisfying zing. Full bodied and fruit forward Pinot Noir is also made here, but perhaps the most famous region for Pinot has shifted to Central Otago. With its dry climate and high altitude vineyards, the expression of Pinot Noir here is more elegant and often compared to Burgundian examples. Attempts to find other unique wine styles include varietals like Riesling, Muller Thurgau, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Merlot, and Syrah but it is still Sauvignon Blanc which dominates and which remains New Zealand’s most recognisably and unique contribution to the world of wine.

New Zealand

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