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

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

  • 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 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

  • Selaks Wines

    When Marino Selak first arrived in New Zealand from his native Croatia in 1906, there were a f...

  • Twilight Vineyards

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

  • Wild Rock Wine Company

    Wild Rock Wine Company is a producer of regionally diverse wines. Company vineyards, a combinatio...

  • Putiki Bay Vineyard

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

  • Fallen Angel Wines

    While Stonyridge wines are estate grown and made here on Waiheke, Fallen Angel wines originate fr...

  • Cloudy Bay Vineyards

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Okay, now you admit it JD!  And I was trying to be sort of nice :)You hit ... it perfectly when you said New Zealand.  They make some really good wine, but again, not much of the great stuff gets to North America.  If they increase their production, via more wineries/vineyards, I suspect they could legitimately be a bigger player.&nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic The World's Next Biggest Wine...

  • No worry DV, did you think I expected you all to ooh and ahh about a Bloomberg ... ... though I never do. New Zealand too, though it wasn't mentioned here. That South England is becoming Champagne North due to global warming is both funny and interesting, depending on who you talk to, maybe both.The Tokaji ascertion is one that I might make, ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic The World's Next Biggest Wine...

  • Thought I'd start a topic to see what "different" wines people ... out of the bottle somewhat New Zealand Sauv Blanc'ish, predominately white grapefruit with some green pear and a good hit of acid but not much else. Not very complex with a short finish.So, what besides cabs and chards have you tried latel Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • I have had the pleasure the last few days to taste some nice wines courtesy of ... now live in Shanghai, via New Zealand). I tend to taste over a few days with Vacuum resealing to look for development.Shanghai prices are pretty high compared to most places I have lived worldwide for imported wines, but I managed to bag them all around 110 to 1... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?

  • Wild Rock Pinot Noir "cupid's Arrow" Central Otago 2009


    No written review

    Wine review by kendramoroz

  • 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


    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...

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