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

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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 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...

  • Kim Crawford Wines

    One of the reasons why New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have taken the world by storm. Delightful ...

  • Putiki Bay Vineyard

    Putiki Bay is a boutique vineyard located on the idyllic coastal site on Waiheke Island. Our phi...

  • Dog Point Vineyards

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

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

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

  • Twilight Vineyards

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Kono Sauvignon Blanc 2014


    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


    No written review

    Wine review by leahjewell

  • Frenzy Sauvignon Blanc South Island New Zealand 2015


    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


    No written review

    Wine review by doublefantasy

  • Murdoch James Estate Martinborough Nz Pinot Gris 2015


    No written review

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor

  • Fire Road Sauvignon Blanc 2014


    Binny's 3/2016. New Zealand does not export an average bottle of wine at any price point. Always better than you paid for, if California wine is your basis point. Well, maybe not the high end, as $20/$30 per 750 ml bottle is my price limit. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Allan Scott Pinot Noir 2013


    Binny's 3/2016. Served with London Broil with the Gilmore's to kick off "summer", or in this case a very warm spring day. Just a delightful bottle made even more memorable because we followed it up with a typical bottle of California's over priced attempt at a red blend. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Quick lunch this afternoon, back in the district.  We attended an early ... 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, spicy soup and a dozen raw oysters hit the spo Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Gimblett Road Hawks Bay New Zealand Syrah 2013


    wonderful, fresh, smooth and refreshing like a spring day. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor

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