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 »

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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

  • Shepherds Ridge Vineyard

    The Shepherds Ridge Property The Vineyard Rarangi, in the north-eastern corner of the Waira...

  • New harbor

    Marlborough, on the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, is the country’s premier appellat...

  • 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...

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

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

  • Dog Point Vineyards

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • 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

  • Rod Easthope Pinot Noir 2014


    Not a big fan of Pinot Noir but this was a decent bottle. Read More

    Wine review by anstett

  • Yesterday was spent almost entirely in Washington DC; we headed out at 1 PM on ... was a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and it was a good pairing to the oysters.  This is a house wine, featured by the Landry restaurants of which Oceanaire is one.  They also own Morton's Steakhouse I believe. &nbs Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2014


    Grassy and herbal immediately in the nose, this also has a touch of petrol and then some lime, lemon and melon coming through as well. In the mouth this is zesty and lively, with a bit of effervescence, some white pepper, classic herbal green pepper and lemon notes, some dill and even a tropical fruit note. Very characterful and classic for Marl... Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Thanks for clearing that up JD.  Looks like a fun party.  I would be ... very interested in trying a New Zealand Pinot Noir.  So far, I think the best Pinot Noir I've tasted has been from Oregon, and that includes Burgundy too.  Of course, I'm talking $100+ bottles from Williamette Valley here, and I certainly haven't gone much above that pric... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • Lots of parties going on...we had an engagement party to attend last night. ... of fun. Brought along a 2012 New Zealand Pinot, which was really nice and fresh. It's a good red wine to have after you've already consumed plenty of champagne and other drinks. What strikes me about the good NZ Pinot's is the broad lines of acid, the freshness def... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines

  • This is likely going to be a difficult search. Wine Searcher shows only an ... ... ... an Arcadia name down in New Zealand or over in Turkey.You should  check a number of wine auction sites, even going so far as eBay, though expectations regarding bottle condition can't be high on that latter site. If, ultimately, you cannot find a bottle fro... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Looking to Redeem Myself

  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014


    Not bad at all. Loads of acidity and citrus and stone fruit along with fresh and young green grass. Had it on its own, but would be far better with food. Read More

    Wine review by puhnner

  • Terrance - here are some others you might want to try.Milbrandt, Chateau St. ... want to go farther afield, New Zealand actually makes some pretty good ones. I once told someone that it was a completely useless grape and later that week went to a tasting of NZ wines and found a few that were pretty good so I had to eat my words. But they're no... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Pinot grigio

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