From the sub-tropical Northland to the world’s most southerly grape growing region of Central Otago, the vineyards of New Zealand stretch out over 1000 miles and benefit from the moderating effect of a maritime climate (no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean).
New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy and intensity of flavour. The long ripening period - a result of cool temperatures - allows flavour development whilst retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned.
There are a number of distinct major winegrowing regions spread throughout New Zealand, with the majority on the East coast of the Islands in the rain shadow of the mountains. Within these diverse regions, sub-regional characteristics are beginning to show through and wines are now being distinguished as being not just from a wine region, but from a sub-region and a place.
New Zealand’s dependence on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir has been a weakness in the past, but the success in recent vintages of Pinot Gris, Syrah and Gewurztraminer, has made this country’s offering far more diverse and interesting for those seeking out alternate quality wines from the new world.