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...

  • Merlot

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

  • Sauvignon Blanc

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

  • 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

  • Dog Point Vineyards

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

  • Konrad & Conrad

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

  • Coopers Creek

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

  • Mud House Wines

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

  • Whitehaven Wine Company Ltd

    Whitehaven Wine Company was established in 1994 by majority shareholders, Greg and Sue White, and...

  • New harbor

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • 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

  • Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore

  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley 2010


    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore

  • Sunday Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2007


    No written review

    Wine review by smuratore

  • Fire Road Pinot Noir 2013


    Fire Road Pinot Noir Marlborough 201313.5% Alc Toast, heat and unripe cherry aromas open for this on the nose. There's a bit of an herbal green leaf quality on the nose as well. Medium-light in body, with unripe cherry, raspberry, and cranberry. Good acidity lifts the palate but the tannins are not as in balance as they could be. There's a sligh... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Mills Reef Sauvignon Blanc Hawkes Bay Reserve 2014


    Full orange notes fill the glass with a hint of sweetness and a spicy lemon note on the fringes. A bit pale in the mouth with green apple and lemon notes, somewhat flabby, with some neutral oak notes and some tartness, but farily simple as a whole. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Okiwa Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2014


    Great Value from NZ not too grassy and great fruit on the nose and follow thru on the palate. this more tropical fruits than grapefruit on the palate. Read More

    Wine review by vino vino1

  • Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014


    Melon on the nose. Fruity in the palate with balancing acidity and a slightly bitter finish, Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • Well, my last volunteer wine pouring at the Wine in the Water Park event for ... Manawa Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand while I had the Sancerre from Franc Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • 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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