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

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

  • Shepherds Ridge Vineyard

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

  • New harbor

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

  • Selaks Wines

    When Marino Selak first arrived in New Zealand from his native Croatia in 1906, there were a f...

  • Twilight Vineyards

    Proprietors Bruce and Joy Peart now together with Johnny Leung own and operate their boutique Twi...

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

    The Vavasour family have a strong historical background. They can trace their ancestry back to...

  • 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

  • Craggy Range Chardonnay Kidnappers Vineyard 2010

    Snoothrank:

    An area of New Zealand worth watching that's for sure. It and Central Otago are prime wine areas. A delightful nose that reminds me more of schisty French chards than anything else. With lemon, nuttiness, some apple, slight oak, a chalky on the nose float out seamlessly from and pale hay, green hued juice. There is good acidity and large mineral... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Craggy Range "Te Kahu" Bordeaux Blend Gimblett Gravels 2009

    Snoothrank:

    Boy is this good. Bourdeaux all the way. You'll want meat with this. Blackberries, plum, vanilla, earthy/herbal notes and oak round out the nose. Chewy tannins the rachet up not only the fruit, but the intensity of the mouthfeel in general. The taste is well defined with pleasing fruit with additional cinnamon and mocha to round out the palate. ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • SOHO Marlborough Pinot Noir White Collection 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Any good pinot is better 5 years later so the saying goes...and this example proves it. It was was very timid at first, but with time the fruit emerged and brought with it a great spice fruit. Red berry fruit - mostly cherries and raspberry - leads the way with crisp acidity and slightly chewy tannins lead to a mouthwatering finish. Drink now - ... Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Craggy Range Te Kahu Gimblett Gravels Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    This has an odd presence for a bordeaux blend. Actually it makes me think of some pre-1997 Iyalian wines. Although there is accompanying fruit, it's more earth, spice, red cedar, anise and snappy acidity and tannins. It's a little different but it is good. drink now - Paul 88 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Well ok.  I screwed up on 'terroir'.  The 'terror in New Zealand' is a real problem though and it's about time we got into social issues here on the wine forum.   I had forgotten all about the sinking of the Greenpeace vessel there in Auckland back in 1985.  While the markup on that Evodia was high, the wine was quite good.  I could have spent m... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • We've had several white wines from New Zealand and they've all been decent.  I'm not willing to spend too much on one until I understand the terror there better.The Terror of New Zealand????Oh, Hell, no.  Sorry Al.  You should know by now that mistakes do not go unmocked around here.  Even typos.OK, I admit that I watched "Sharknado 3"--the whol... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • We've had several white wines from New Zealand and they've all been decent.  I'm not willing to spend too much on one until I understand the terror there better.Last night we were in the district again, with our umbrellas of course, because we are experiencing daily rain for what seems to be more than two weeks straight.  It's raining again this... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    As usual a wonderfully elegant and effusive Sauvignon Blanc. Loads os green apples, citrus, lemongrass, tasty minerality with great acidity. My go SB for sure - drink now - Paul 89 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by leahjewell


  • Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc South Island New Zealand 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Classic fresh green grass and gooseberry on the nose with beautiful floral honeysuckle and rose petal notes and fruit notes of white peach and pink grapefruit. A bit softer in the mouth, this still has gooseberry and grapefruit, adding some notes of melon and green apple, with a finish that trails off a bit with a green, tart note and some lyche... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial


  • 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 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


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