New Zealand Wine

The history of New Zealand wine-making dates back to the 1800s when settlers planted vines and some commercial wineries began to surface. But the industry never really took off as it did in Australia and other parts of the world at this time. When Phylloxera struck the country, as it did elsewhere, the known “cure” was to graft American root stock onto European vinifera, which repelled the louse. However, New Zealand took a more direct approach and decided instead to just source all their vines directly from America. which was costly and time-consuming. There were also very loose quality standards when it came to wine production. Sugar and water were allowed to be added to bulk out the wine. As a result, into the 20th century, most New Zealand wine was shunned in favor of Australian imports. 

There was also a form of Prohibition enacted around the same time as it was in the US, in the 1920s. While alcohol was not banned outright, there were several government measures put forth to Read more »

Mentor for New Zealand Wines

Wai Xin Chan

A wine drinker turned CSW! Author of WineXin.SG. Good wines, cheap wines. What more can I ask for?

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Popular wines made in New Zealand under $20

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Varietals Produced in New Zealand View all

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

Subregions of New Zealand

  • Central Otago

      Cental Otago, located on the tip of New Zealand’s South Island is the world’s highest and ...

  • Gisborne

    Gisborne Wine Region Wine lovers revere Gisborne as the “Chardo...

  • Hawke's Bay

    Hawke’s Bay, in New Zealand’s North Island, has the longest wine-making history in the country....

  • Marlborough

      While wines from Marlborough, in New Zealand’s South Island, have only come into prominenc...

  • Auckland

  • Nelson

      Nelson is a small, but prolific wine region located at the northern tip of New Zealand’s S...

Popular Wineries in New Zealand View all

  • New harbor

    Marlborough, on the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, is the country’s premier appellat...

  • Sapich Brothers Ltd

    The Sapich family has been making ports, sherries and wines in the Henderson Valley since the 1...

  • Shepherds Ridge Vineyard

    The Shepherds Ridge Property The Vineyard Rarangi, in the north-eastern corner of the Waira...

  • Konrad & Conrad

    Konrad Wines is fully owned by the Hengstler family, Konrad, Sigrun and their two sons, Conrad an...

  • Kim Crawford Wines

    One of the reasons why New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have taken the world by storm. Delightful ...

  • Dog Point Vineyards

    Dog Point Vineyard combines the considerable wine-growing experience of Ivan and Margaret Sutherl...

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Rod Easthope Pinot Noir 2014


    Not a big fan of Pinot Noir but this was a decent bottle. Read More

    Wine review by anstett

  • Yesterday was spent almost entirely in Washington DC; we headed out at 1 PM on ... was a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and it was a good pairing to the oysters.  This is a house wine, featured by the Landry restaurants of which Oceanaire is one.  They also own Morton's Steakhouse I believe. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014


    Grassy and herbal immediately in the nose, this also has a touch of petrol and then some lime, lemon and melon coming through as well. In the mouth this is zesty and lively, with a bit of effervescence, some white pepper, classic herbal green pepper and lemon notes, some dill and even a tropical fruit note. Very characterful and classic for Marl... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Thanks for clearing that up JD.  Looks like a fun party.  I would be ... very interested in trying a New Zealand Pinot Noir.  So far, I think the best Pinot Noir I've tasted has been from Oregon, and that includes Burgundy too.  Of course, I'm talking $100+ bottles from Williamette Valley here, and I certainly haven't gone much above that pric... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • Lots of parties going on...we had an engagement party to attend last night. ... of fun. Brought along a 2012 New Zealand Pinot, which was really nice and fresh. It's a good red wine to have after you've already consumed plenty of champagne and other drinks. What strikes me about the good NZ Pinot's is the broad lines of acid, the freshness def... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • This is likely going to be a difficult search. Wine Searcher shows only an ... ... ... an Arcadia name down in New Zealand or over in Turkey.You should  check a number of wine auction sites, even going so far as eBay, though expectations regarding bottle condition can't be high on that latter site. If, ultimately, you cannot find a bottle fro... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Looking to Redeem Myself

  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014


    Not bad at all. Loads of acidity and citrus and stone fruit along with fresh and young green grass. Had it on its own, but would be far better with food. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Terrance - here are some others you might want to try.Milbrandt, Chateau St. ... want to go farther afield, New Zealand actually makes some pretty good ones. I once told someone that it was a completely useless grape and later that week went to a tasting of NZ wines and found a few that were pretty good so I had to eat my words. But they're no... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot grigio

  • Brancott Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Brancott Estate 2014


    Grassy and herbal immediately in the nose, this also has a touch of petrol and then some lime, lemon and melon coming through as well. In the mouth this is zesty and lively, with a bit of effervescence, some white pepper, classic herbal green pepper and lemon notes, some dill and even a tropical fruit note. Very characterful and classic for Marl... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2013


    Final, finally in the White Flight.Served too warm to enjoy, but then I don't care much for Sauvignon Blanc anyway. Typical 'green', citrus, and tropical fruit flavors. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Try a Lime Rock Pinot Noir from limestone hills in Central Hawkes Bay, NZ. 2009 if you can find it, as Jancis put it in her 100 Red Wine list for 2012.

    Comment by 395997limerock 395997 limerock

  • On behalf of Lemongrass Productions Ltd., we would be delighted if you could join us for New Zealand's largest wine tasting event. Wine Auckland is held on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th August 2014 at the Viaduct Event Centre, Central Auckland. We would love you to help us promote Wine Auckland. As the event is in its inaugural year it's importa...

    Comment by 1527058Snoother 1527058 1527058 Snoother 1527058

  • Hello, Mr.Wai Xin Chan, I am very happy to know you. This is Joseph In Tianjin Of China. I am a small importer of wine and also interested in New Zealand wine. I am looking for the wines produced in New Zealand which is cheaper and suitable to Chinese taste. As an expert of Oceania, Could you recommend one or two the wineyards to me ? ...

    Comment by 1174965Joseph Zhou 1174965 Joseph Zhou

  • I am trying to find stockists of Chevalier de Bayard 2007 Vin de Pays De i aude. Is there anyone out there that can help me. Live in ChCh New Zealand

    Comment by 1137287Snoother 1137287 1137287 Snoother 1137287

  • 2010 Omaka Springs Sauvignon Blanc is on the current BevMo $.05 far $15.04 for two bottles - great value!!

    Comment by 889924CindyNapa 889924 CindyNapa

  • Still trying to find a good Pinot that compares to Rabbit Ranch, one of my favourite NZ reds and relatively inexpensive. Highly recommend Mount Difficulty and Roaring Meg around the same price - but keen for some advice on the best NZ red so I can have a bottle ready for my first child being born in October :)

    Comment by 666955samdouglas 666955 samdouglas

  • For honest no BS NZ wine reviews visit

    Comment by 77525Jayson Bryant 77525 Jayson Bryant

  • Some of our favorite wineries are Forrest Estate, Sacred Hill, Gibbston Valley and Alan Scott. there cover a range of price ranges and encompass some of the more famous wine regions of NZ. I do find most NZ wines to be very similar, but those mentioned above represent some of the better examples. A good Central Otago Pinot (Gibbston Valley) or...

    Comment by 577576IntermeDx 577576 IntermeDx

  • I love Yealands Estate Winery in Marlborough NZ. Visited their cellar door, great experience and really enjoyed their wines and their sustainable vision.

    Comment by 561401Singaporegirl 561401 Singaporegirl

  • Hi Dalizard, Yes tried the '08 Pinot, it is another monster, but I think a big step up on the '07 which to me came across almost Syrah like, it was also a monster. '08 is clearly Pinot, it is huge with big Pinot fruit (i.e. Berries and plum etc) and oriental spices with a big syrupy finish. Put it in your cellar and forget about it for another 5...

    Comment by 551960Damndit 551960 Damndit

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