Although winemaking in New Zealand only took off in the mid-20th century, today the country has a reputation for top quality Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir making these the most popular New Zealand wines online. New Zealand is largely characterised by small and medium-sized artisanal producers with around 90% of the nation's output destined for export.
Key New Zealand Wine Regions
New Zealand is home to the world's most southerly vineyards in Central Otago on the South Island which produce exceptional cool climate Pinot Noir. There is considerable variation of terroir across the country, with the northernmost wine region of Northland enjoying warm, humid summers. The country's most famous wine regions include Marlborough, famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, Hawke's Bay, and Gisborne which is known for its aromatic Chardonnay.
New Zealand Grape Varieties
The most widely grown grape in New Zealand vineyards is Sauvignon Blanc which accounts for around 70% of the country's total production. Classic examples are intense and aromatic with distinctive notes of gooseberry, passionfruit and freshly-cut grass. Close second is Pinot Noir which is grown in cooler, southerly regions like Marlborough, Central Otago and Canterbury. It pairs particularly well with roast lamb, a classic New Zealand dish. Other popular varieties include Riesling and Chardonnay for white wines and Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for red blends.
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