New Zealand Wines: Summer Tipples From the Edge of the World

As warm weather sets in, consider a refreshing alternative to traditional thirst-quenchers like lemonade or iced coffee: wine from New Zealand. Renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand offers much more. From rich Chardonnays to vibrant Pinot Noirs and bold Bordeaux-style reds, its diverse landscape yields a variety of delicious wines. Join us as we delve into the Land of the Long White Cloud's winemaking history and explore its exceptional offerings.

Best New Zealand Wines by Region

Best Wine Regions

Marlborough

Discover two exceptional Marlborough wines under $20! Our pick, the Sauvignon Blanc from Rapaura Springs, embodies the region's excellence. Named New Zealand's winery of 2015, it boasts pungent grassy notes and vibrant tropical fruit bursts, perfect for sunny days. Pair it with light salads for a refreshing experience. Available on our website, it offers unbeatable value and a taste of Marlborough's finest. Interesting tip from famous wine experts :“Follow regional pairings: pair dishes with wines from the same region.”

    • 2023
    • 750ml
    • White
    • 13%
    • Sauvignon Blanc
    • Sauvignon Blanc
    • Rapaura Springs
    • Marlborough
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2023
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    White
    Alcohol
    13%
    Varietal
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Grapes
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Winery
    Rapaura Springs
    Region
    Marlborough
    Country
    New Zealand

    • 2023
    • 750ml
    • White
    • 13.5%
    • Sauvignon Blanc
    • Sauvignon Blanc
    • Greywacke
    • Marlborough
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2023
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    White
    Alcohol
    13.5%
    Varietal
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Grapes
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Winery
    Greywacke
    Region
    Marlborough
    Country
    New Zealand

Hawke's Bay

Nestled on New Zealand's North Island coast, Hawke's Bay enchants with its scenic beauty and acclaimed vineyards, spanning 5000 hectares. Known for gravelly soils and oceanic influence, its versatility shines through Bordeaux-style red blends, vibrant unoaked whites, and innovative Chardonnays.

Introducing Fat and Sassy, a Chardonnay by Tony Bish, renowned for his unconventional methods. With zesty lemon, tropical fruit, and creamy texture, it's a testament to his mastery.

    • 2021
    • 750ml
    • White
    • 13.5%
    • Chardonnay
    • Chardonnay
    • Tony Bish
    • Hawkes Bay
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2021
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    White
    Alcohol
    13.5%
    Varietal
    Chardonnay
    Grapes
    Chardonnay
    Winery
    Tony Bish
    Region
    Hawkes Bay
    Country
    New Zealand

Te Mata estate offers a rare Bordeaux-style red, a bold blend adored by critics, perfect for cellaring or a gastronomic delight. Discover Hawke's Bay wines, paired perfectly with seafood or grilled meats.

 

    • 2020
    • 750ml
    • Red
    • 13.5%
    • Bordeaux Red Blends
    • Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
    • Te Mata
    • Hawkes Bay
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2020
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    Red
    Alcohol
    13.5%
    Varietal
    Bordeaux Red Blends
    Grapes
    Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
    Winery
    Te Mata
    Region
    Hawkes Bay
    Country
    New Zealand
    • Collectible

Martinborough

Martinborough, a gem near Wellington, offers iconic Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Ata Rangi's Pinot Noir delights with fruits notes, perfect for Burgundy enthusiasts.

    • 2020
    • 750ml
    • Red
    • 13.5%
    • Pinot Noir
    • Pinot Noir
    • Ata Rangi
    • Martinborough
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2020
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    Red
    Alcohol
    13.5%
    Varietal
    Pinot Noir
    Grapes
    Pinot Noir
    Winery
    Ata Rangi
    Region
    Martinborough
    Country
    New Zealand

Meanwhile, Craggy Range's Sauvignon Blanc, bursting with citrus and stone fruit, delivers quintessential New Zealand flavors. Enjoy these wines with grilled meats or seafood for a true taste of Martinborough's terroir.  "Sauvignon Blanc's versatility shines with seafood and summer salads," as wine critics say. 

    • 2023
    • 750ml
    • White
    • 13%
    • Sauvignon Blanc
    • Sauvignon Blanc
    • Craggy Range
    • Martinborough
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2023
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    White
    Alcohol
    13%
    Varietal
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Grapes
    Sauvignon Blanc
    Winery
    Craggy Range
    Region
    Martinborough
    Country
    New Zealand
    • Organic

Central Otago

Echoing Nancy Sinatra's lyrics, New Zealand Pinot Noir evoke "strawberries, cherries, and an angel's kiss in spring." These wines, from Central Otago, offer terroir-driven excellence amidst dramatic landscapes. Felton Road's rendition boasts sun-ripened cherries and cassis ideal for roast duck.

    • 2019
    • 750ml
    • Red
    • 14.5%
    • Pinot Noir
    • Pinot Noir
    • Felton Road
    • Central Otago
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2019
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    Red
    Alcohol
    14.5%
    Varietal
    Pinot Noir
    Grapes
    Pinot Noir
    Winery
    Felton Road
    Region
    Central Otago
    Country
    New Zealand
    • Organic

Meanwhile, Valli's expression bursts with vibrant strawberries and cherries, a perfect summer sip. Both exemplify New Zealand's winemaking finesse, delivering quality and distinction in every bottle. Advice for you  from us “Chill Pinot Noir lightly for optimal tasting experience."

    • 2019
    • 750ml
    • Red
    • 13.5%
    • Pinot Noir
    • Pinot Noir
    • Valli
    • Central Otago
    • New Zealand
    Vintage
    2019
    Size
    750ml
    Type
    Red
    Alcohol
    13.5%
    Varietal
    Pinot Noir
    Grapes
    Pinot Noir
    Winery
    Valli
    Region
    Central Otago
    Country
    New Zealand
    • Boutique

If you’re finding it impossible to choose the right wine for spring – summer seasons, you don’t necessarily have to choose one. Our experts have also put together several New Zealand wine tasting cases, which manage to capture each aspect of a certain grape - check out the Pinot Noir tasting case right here, or, if white wine is more your thing, we have also created a Sauvignon Blanc tasting case, which shows off everything this incredible country has to offer.

Our flowery descriptions are nice - but they only capture a fraction of these wines’ flavour, and they certainly won’t cool you down on a hot summer’s day. New Zealand’s wines’ are just as diverse and awe-inspiring as the country’s landscape. To experience the real thing, check out the 8Wines website - we can deliver a carefully curated tasting case of New Zealand wine to your doorstep, wherever in Europe you may be.

Common inquiries about New Zealand wines

  • Why Are Wines From New Zealand So Popular?

New Zealand wines are loved for their refreshing, vibrant character, and they strike a wonderful balance between complex and crowd-pleasing. Even if you aren’t a big fan of wine, it’s almost impossible to ignore the virtues of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. However, it wasn’t always as popular as it is today. New Zealand wine truly blossomed in the 1980s, due to several factors: wine-makers began to plant the right grapes in the right places, locals became more interested, and consumers worldwide began to see New Zealand as a viable location for high-quality wine.

  • What makes New Zealand wine different?

New Zealand's winemaking dates back to 1819 when vines were first planted for Communion wine. James Busby, representing the British Colonial Office, later introduced French and Spanish vine cuttings, catalyzing the industry. Coastal regions, like the Bay of Islands, excel in white wine production, while Hawke's Bay, Central Otago, and Marlborough emerged as renowned wine-growing areas. Characterized by zingy, vibrant flavors with citrus and tropical fruit notes, New Zealand wines owe their unique profile to coastal proximity, abundant sunshine, and innovative practices like the Gallagher leaf plucker.

  • What is the most popular wine in New Zealand?

As of my last update in January 2024, Sauvignon Blanc is the most popular wine in New Zealand. It's renowned internationally for its distinctive and vibrant flavors, often featuring notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and grassiness. New Zealand's Marlborough region, in particular, is famous for producing world-class Sauvignon Blanc wines. However, it's worth noting that New Zealand also produces excellent Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and other varietals, which have been gaining popularity both domestically and internationally in recent years.

  • What type of wine is from New Zealand?

While Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay dominate New Zealand's wine production, the country also thrives in crafting an expanding array of popular styles and grape varieties. Riesling, Syrah, and Bordeaux Blends are gaining prominence, while New Zealand's diverse wine regions experiment with everything from Albariño to Zinfandel, showcasing the nation's dynamic and innovative approach to winemaking.