After we point out New Zealand, chances are you’ll consider the spectacular nature, the Lord of the Rings movies and Maori tradition, however the nation can also be more and more well-known for its wine.  There are about 700 wineries all through the entire nation. The cool summers and delicate winters of the Southern hemisphere guarantee a protracted rising season and gradual ripening. The harvest time is between February and April, various barely in response to the number of grape and the actual micro-climate.

Are you able to discover the vivid wine business of New Zealand?

New Zealand is a relative newcomer within the worldwide wine world and so is sort of distinct from nations reminiscent of France with a historical past of vinification stretching again for hundreds of years.  And but, in a matter of fewer than thirty years, New Zealand has constructed a robust status for itself, constructed on high quality and flavour. The nation has dozens of wine areas unfold throughout the North Island and South Island. Right here we’ve got chosen eight of the perfect and most picturesque wine areas for you. Take your time and plan your wine-tasting journey by way of these gorgeous areas.

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay, positioned on the North Island, is New Zealand’s oldest wine area. As a result of many hours of sunshine, the delicate local weather and the totally different soil sorts, French missionaries laid the primary winery right here in 1851, which grew into Mission Property Vineyard. As well as, Hawke’s Bay is the third-largest wine area with 72 wineries, the place primarily crimson varieties reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah dominate. It’s, due to this fact, no shock that this wine area is the most important producer of crimson wine in New Zealand.

Driving and wine tasting don’t combine, however luckily, this area has a big community of bicycle paths. This makes it straightforward so that you can cycle to the prize-winning farmers. Make a cease within the city of Napier alongside the best way. This metropolis is understood for its stunning Artwork Deco structure and scrumptious meals.

Central Otago

In the case of New Zealand wines, it shortly turns into about Sauvignon Blanc. Nevertheless, after Burgundy in France, the Central Otago wine area is without doubt one of the greatest Pinot Noir areas on the planet. Positioned on the South Island, Central Otago is the southernmost wine area on the planet and the very best in New Zealand.

The continental local weather and soil of this area make it extraordinarily appropriate for the Pinot Noir grape. With its mountains, stunning rivers and deep gorges, Central Otago can also be the nation’s most spectacular wine area. Whereas having fun with a glass of wine, you may look out over the mountain peaks of the Remarkables.


Gisborne is the Chardonnay capital of New Zealand. This wine area is positioned on the North Island and has essentially the most easterly vineyards on the planet. The grapes listed below are the primary on the planet to see the solar within the morning.

Gisborne additionally performs an vital function in New Zealand historical past. Right here James Prepare dinner set foot ashore in 1769. He referred to as the bay on which Gisborne lies Poverty Bay as a result of in his eyes it had little to supply. Prepare dinner was fairly incorrect with this thought. As a result of delicate local weather, the various hours of sunshine and the fertile soil, this space is extraordinarily appropriate for viticulture and fruit rising. It’s not solely the wine that makes this area attention-grabbing. The Gisborne area additionally has a wealthy Maori tradition, making the realm effectively price a go to.


If in case you have ever loved a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, the probabilities are it got here from the Marlborough area. Marlborough is New Zealand’s most vital and well-known wine area. The area is positioned within the far north of the South Island and produces a minimum of 70% of all New Zealand wines. Viticulture began right here in 1973 and the mixture of heat, sunny days and funky nights makes the area the proper atmosphere for the Sauvignon Blanc grape.

The true wine lover will indulge himself in February. Then the annual Marlborough Wine Pageant takes place the place you may style all of the wine varieties from the area. Are you not round throughout this era? Don’t fear, there are different alternatives to style the scrumptious wines from this area. For the last word wine expertise, there’s nothing higher than staying in a single day at a winery or participating in a wine tour that takes you thru the gorgeous countryside of Marlborough. Tip: our private favorite is The Ned, a Sauvignon Blanc from this area.

Waikato & the Bay of Lots 

Waikato is just not solely the placement of the unique Shire, the hobbit residence from Lord of the Rings. Additionally it is recognized for its golden sand seashores, native wines and recent seafood, on account of its gorgeous coastal location on the North Island. When James Prepare dinner found a bay in 1769, stuffed with plantations and villages, he famous in his journal that he had discovered ‘a bay of a lot’. At present, the Bay of Lots nonetheless lives as much as its title and is wealthy in native produce.

Right here you may take a tour or journey independently amongst small pockets of vineyards nestled in rolling farmland. The principle varieties listed below are Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris and to a lesser extent Sauvignon Blanc. Wines from this area are recognized for his or her spherical, full-bodied flavours and we’re positive you’ll get pleasure from sampling them.


Canterbury has two predominant wine areas: Waipara Valley and the plains surrounding Christchurch. Waipara particularly is a fast-growing wine area with 79 wineries to select from. The lengthy dry summers, many rivers, many hours of sunshine and funky nights on this area be sure that primarily Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes can thrive right here.

They know all too effectively in Waipara Valley that good wines and good meals go effectively collectively. In the event you’re within the space in March, get pleasure from award-winning wines and wonderful native meals on the Waipara Valley Wine & Meals Pageant. This can be a nice alternative to pattern every little thing the area has to supply.


This distinctive and pleasant area, positioned on the Southern tip of the North Island of New Zealand, is just not removed from the capital Wellington. The phrase Wairarapa is a Maori time period which means ‘Glistening Waters’, which clearly tells you what you may sit up for. The spectacular coastlines and the vary of vineyards to go to clarify why this space is so interesting to go to.

Wairarapa has a gentle local weather and the soil composition is good for the various vineyards, so Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, particularly, thrive right here. Excessive-quality dessert wines are additionally produced on this area. Take time to go to the picturesque colonial city of Martinborough, with over 30 family-owned wineries which might be inside strolling distance from the city centre.


Nelson is a picturesque wine-growing area not removed from Marlborough, in the direction of the North of the South Island. The realm is characterised by rolling hills and a gentle local weather and that is splendid for rising the principle sorts of grapes for New World wines. Not solely Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir all develop effectively right here, but additionally the fragrant varieties such Pinot Gris and Riesling.

For the wine fanatic, the uncrowded area of Nelson affords the chance of a extra intimate sort of wine tourism expertise than in some areas with larger-scale wine manufacturing. You possibly can tour the countryside by bike and go to the vineyards and discuss with the house owners. The wine producers shall be joyful to indicate you round their vineyards and to allow you to pattern the wines. There are additionally winery cafes to go to and nautical themed eating places serving scrumptious recent seafood with a glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc.

Andrew Morten is Founding father of A Journey DownUnder. A Journey DownUnder creates bespoke, tailor-made journeys to Australia and New Zealand.

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