The New Zealand wine industry is known to produce only 1% of the world’s wine collection. It is largely due to the fact that the production is too little. However, the results of fast and furious plantings in the mid-1990s helped to introduce an increasing number of wine drinkers to the unique character of wines from this part of the world. Demand from Australia, US and Middle East has historically surpassed supply, keeping the average price of New Zealand wine high. New Zealand wines combine the well-preserved pure fruit flavors of New World winemaking with the natural grape acidity associated with northern Europe.


Today, the wine industry of New Zealand has not only established itself as a major contributor to the economy of the nation but it has gained attention from Sauvignon Blanc and has also helped the nation achieve international acclaim by producing some of the best wines in the world.


The fact that New Zealand has just the right weather also helps. Best wines of New Zealand are mainly produced in eight wine regions which extend from latitudes 36°S in the north to 45°S in the south. All these regions differ from one another in terms of climate, soil quality, varieties of grapes grown, and the wines produced.


Below are the major wine regions known for their exclusive wineries:



It is also the place where country’s viticulture started. Famous for Bordeaux-style wines, Auckland has over 100 wineries and vineyards. Wine production in Auckland mainly centers on Henderson Valley, Kumeu, and Huapai, all boasting an array of world famous and boutique wineries. Popular varieties grown include Merlot, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Matakana is now also being noted for producing tasteful wines, including Pinot Gris, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.




Known to produce substantial quantities of Riesling, Muller-Thurgav, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer grapes that are artistically converted into cheerful wines, Gisborne is the best place for a wine-lover to go. Matawhero Winery is the longest established winery of Gisborne. The Riesling, Chenin Blanc, and late-harvest dessert wines are among the delightful wines produced at Milton. Shalimar Estate Winery, noted for its quality reds, is another big name in the Gisborne region that brings great joy to the wine-lovers.


Hawke’s Bay


Hawke’s Bay is another ideal region in the country for viticulture. First vines were planted here in 1851 by French Marist missionaries. The Hawke’s Bay’s wine country encircles the cities of Napier and Hastings.



Two main wine areas of Canterbury are the Waipara Valley area and the plains around Christchurch. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Riesling are the most popular varieties grown in Canterbury.




The Glovers’s Vineyard is famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. Some other famous wineries of this area include Nuerdorf Winery, the Seifried Estate Winery, Moutere Hills Vineyard, and Karhurangi Vineyard.



Noted for its fine Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, this area gets enough sunshine throughout the year for producing perfect quality grapes. 


By: August Dorfman