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

  • Merlot

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

  • Chardonnay

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • Pinot Noir

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

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 http://www.gisbornewine.co.nz 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

  • Wild Rock Wine Company

    Wild Rock Wine Company is a producer of regionally diverse wines. Company vineyards, a combinatio...

  • Highfield Estate

    Highfield is a boutique Marlborough winery making ultra premium, food friendly wines for restaura...

  • Oyster Bay Wines

    Internationally-recognised for producing "elegant, assertive wines with glorious fruit flavours",...

  • Cloudy Bay Vineyards

    Cloudy Bay has been the benchmark New Zealand wine, from the iconic New Zealand winemaker Kevin J...

  • Kemblefield Estate Winery

    In the early 1990’s Californians John Kemble and Kaar Field began their search for a vineyard and...

  • Putiki Bay Vineyard

    Putiki Bay is a boutique vineyard located on the idyllic coastal site on Waiheke Island. Our phi...

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Mohua Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2009

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by polesm


  • Twin Islands Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of cut grass and lime greets the nose along with a hint of white pepper. This is juicy and bright in the mouth with just a hint of fleshiness and relatively pure flavors of lime and gooseberry accented with a touch of green herb. A refreshing style that is simple yet bright with a lovely, refreshingly citrus limeade finish. 86pts Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Intensely aromatic with that classic gooseberry, cut grass, asparagus and grapefruit nose that typifies Marlborough Sauvies. Bright and juicy on the palate with good energy and attractive complexity to the asparagus and green pea framed fruit flavors that hint at peach then receded back into a more classic grapefruit and lime profile. Finishing ... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • Tussock Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2008

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by jeffmacintyre


  • Just got home from the market where I scored some First Light Grass Fed Wagyu Ti-Tip from New Zealand. Doing Tri-Tip Sammies, Will have to find a Zin I think. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Kim Crawford Chardonnay Marlborough Unoaked 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by motojoan


  • Starborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Austinista


  • Twelfth Night Riesling 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Velawines


  • Twelfth Night Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Velawines


  • 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 http://www.winevaulttv.com

    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


  • anyone tried Dry River, Pinot Noir, yet?

    Comment by 366188dalizard 366188 dalizard


  • Have you tried Torlesse Wines? The Pinot Noir is quite nice. Very good quality wine for the $'s.

    Comment by 75641mundi 75641 mundi


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