New Zealand has become one of the world’s foremost wine regions. His unmistakable Sauvignon Blanc has filled the pockets of the best wineries, but there are other grape varieties that have nothing to envy him.
New Zealand wine is produced mainly in ten regions: Northland, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury/Waipara and Otago Central.
As in Australia, the winemaking tradition dates back to colonial times, when the Englishmen began to produce wine although with little production due to cultural (drinking more beer), economic and legal issues.
New Zealand red wines
They are made with any mixture of varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and not so often Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec), or Pinot Noir. Recently, in Hawkes Bay there have been wines produced with Syrah, either alone or mixed, and even Tempranillo, Montepulciano and Sangiovese.
In general, New Zealand red wine tends to be of advanced and early maturation, fruity and with moderate oak.
Pinot Noir is a grape variety whose importance in New Zealand is greater than its weight in cultivation indicates. As in other New Zealand wines, New Zealand Pinot Noir is mostly fruity, evolved and prematurely matured in the bottle. It tends to be full-bodied (for the variety), very accessible and oak ripening tends to be moderate. The high quality examples of New Zealand Pinot Noir are distinguished by tasty, earthy flavors of great complexity.
White wines from New Zealand
The Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties predominate in plantations and production.
New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc has been described by some as “lively with flavors of mowed grass and fresh fruit”, and by others as “cat’s pee on a gooseberry bush” (but not necessarily as a criticism).
Other white varieties frequently included are Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris, and less frequently Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Müller-Thurgau and Viognier.
New Zealand sparkling wines
We can find excellent sparkling wines made by the “Methode Traditionelle“.
We recommend that you try any of the wines from the Staete Landt winery. These are wines made in a very manual way, giving rise to wines of great quality and complexity such as: Staete Landt Pinot Noir, Staete Landt Sauvignon Blanc, Staete Landt Chardonnay or the Staete Landt Pinot Gris.
Have you tried any wine from New Zealand yet? Tell us what you think!