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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Dog Point Vineyards

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Trip summary of Columbia Gorge and more...Phelps Creek: Don't be put off ... ... That combined with some New Zealand experience makes a leaner style wine, lower in alcohol, fruit driven. Both Washington & Oregon vineyards.Analemma: 100% Gorge grown grapes. The ribbon-like emblem on the bottle signifies boundless or infinity. Once again there ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Columbia gorge


  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Grapefruit Juice. Longish finish. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Kono Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by JulRenA


  • 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


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

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by JulRenA


  • 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


  • Tussock Pinot Noir 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Worth the price at 15,16Not the usual pinot; earthy with maybe a bit of pepper. Much more malbec style Read More

    Wine review by tjjm


  • 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...


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