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

  • 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",...

  • Mud House Wines

    Mud House is a winery specializing in growing and crafting cool-climate pinot noir and sauvignon ...

  • New harbor

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

  • Coopers Creek

    “One of the most complete and interesting visit and tastings I made while in New Zealand was to t...

  • Shepherds Ridge Vineyard

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • 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


  • EM, that is quite an interesting story.  It's amazing the parallels we ... ... selected her Merlot from New Zealand and of course I went with my Grenache.  Dessert came at the end, with Sandra choosing the cappuccino thing and I went with the pecan pie.  Very tast Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines


  • Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy


  • Murdoch James Estate Martinborough Nz Pinot Gris 2015

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Fire Road Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Binny's 3/2016. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • 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


  • I'm looking for Monkey Bay NZ wines

    Comment by 317710Blackburn Creek 317710 Blackburn Creek


  • Was at your wine tasting tour in NYC this weekend. Tasting at USQ wines was much better setup than other 2. Definitely learned the most about NZ wines there and only bought wine there.

    Comment by 103907kells277 103907 kells277


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    Page modification by 242550Sileni 242550 Sileni


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