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...

  • Chardonnay

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

  • 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

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

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

  • Selaks Wines

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

  • Kemblefield Estate Winery

    In the early 1990’s Californians John Kemble and Kaar Field began their search for a vineyard and...

  • Mud House Wines

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

  • Coopers Creek

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

  • Sapich Brothers Ltd

    The Sapich family has been making ports, sherries and wines in the Henderson Valley since the 1...

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Yes, welcome to the forum Estella.  Many of us have enjoyed Ridge wines, ... ... (French for Sandra, New Zealand for me) and since the conversation was so interesting we stayed a bit longer and ordered another 1/2 dozen oysters and two more glasses of Chardonnay (I think California wines but I don't remember).  So this was a fun time.  Next u... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Red,Nothing wrong with thread-drift.  In fact what I like about it is ... ... of Pinot Noir.  Try a New Zealand one or Oregon if it's in your budget.  Why are we talking about PN!!!???  Get yourself a Chateau St. Michelle Indian Wells Cab Sav or Merlot.  In your budget and nice wine I think you'd enjo Read More

    Forum post in the topic Wine you would not drink...

  • Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2013


    Crisp and clean. Slightly citrus but not too grassy. A really good buy. Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105

  • Villa Maria Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Cellar Selection 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by Tlparadise

  • Coopers Creek Chardonnay the Limeworks 2013


    No written review

    Wine review by Joyy

  • Red - one of the problems with recs for places like World Market and Total Wine ... a couple from Burgundy and New Zealand thrown in for good measure. Some very popular names and some quite expensive. The wine from New Zealand was nice, and one of the wines from CA was nice. And a month before that I was tasting through a few dozen Burgundies w... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Calling back to your indirect shot at Pinot Noir Mark, I think it's great ... ... while a few producers in New Zealand (and even CA/OR longshots from time to time) are making wines that recall Burgundy. As Burgundy is also a big deal for Chardonnay, I think you'd have a fun time exploring the region if you do ever care to venture out of CA, et... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Mills Reef Merlot Malbec Reserve 2012


    Raspberry, sweet cherry and strawberry notes coming through on the nose with a chalky note and a hint of spice. This has a sustained red fruit note that stays bright and light throughout the palate, imparting some perceived sweetness and a floral note that's pleasant and only turns tart with acidity towards the finish, where the cherry notes are... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • MJet,My wine buddy Chester, who did some of his internship (nuclear medicine) in New Zealand, says they make some killer Pinot.  It's not easy to get in North America.  He said that is a doozie. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2015

  • All sounds tasty so far. I recieved a Pinot from New Zealand. Look's very interesting. I have two guesses one from the sender's return address and other from a board member that I beleive drinks some of this stuff. I need some guidance from the board experts on when to drink this.........By the looks of it we should change the event to "The Non-... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Secret Santa 2015

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