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 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...

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

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

  • Mount Cass

    Mount Cass is a family owned boutique vineyard producing outstanding handcrafted wines in the hea...

  • Cloudy Bay Vineyards

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

  • Oyster Bay Wines

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

  • Highfield Estate

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • It made for a nasty headache the next day.NG - You crack me up.  I suppose ... pleasantly surprised by the New Zealand Pinot Noir.  I need to look into this one as my focus had been on Oregon.  I have tried several Pinots from France too, and they were delicious.  My blind wine tasting parties (two so far) have been a mixture of whites and reds... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Have you taken a blind wine...


  • Sandra and I were fortunate yesterday to attend a quickly sold out (57 minutes ... ... a French Chardonnay, a New Zealand Pinot Noir, an Italian Chianti Classico and a French Syrah. It is interesting to note that not one of the wines in the blind tasting were from RdV, nor were there any Virginian wines.  Most of the wines were old world (Ger... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Have you taken a blind wine...


  • Sorry I disappeared for a while!  Finally caught the winter cold bug. ... ... soup but definitely not a New Zealand Sauv Blanc!  Having a stuffy nose surprisingly reduces all the flavors down to the basics(salty, sweet and yuck).  We also liked a sparkling with the main course.  We tried a couple of Pinot Noirs just to see and we'll definitely... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Twist on surf and turf and...


  • Ott's Constant Dream Riesling 2011

    Snoothrank:

    A Tasting Room Quarterly Selection; A very pale Silver Gold in the Glass with notes of yeast, baking spices, and unripe apricot. Medium bodied and off-dry, a full and slightly viscous mouthfeel. More notes of green apples, melon, lemon/lime, minerality, and sweetness. Had this alone, but wish I had paired it with something, it deserves food. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Greg, just give your Burgundy to JD.  Do yourself a favour!I just had a New Zealand Merlot with spaghetti (meat sauce) and asparagus (with lemon and butter), listening to Mandalay (Nicola Hitchock...ethereal electronic stuff) and I was in heaven (my wife was out paddling with her team).  Read More

    Forum post in the topic Twist on surf and turf and...


  • Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Tropical fruits on the nose; fruit forward wine with light acidity and a touch of bitterness on a rather long finish. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by Rupclose


  • Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2013

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by VjLeeder


  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Very much what you'd expect from a NZ Savu blanc, loads of white grapefruit with a touch of lemon pith, decent acidity and a medium finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2013

    Snoothrank:

    (Past tasting 5 Oct 2014) Grapefruits and oranges! Refreshing! Read More

    Wine review by Dennis Lim


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