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...

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Lincoln Estate

    Port Lincoln on South Australia's west coast, globally recognised for its Bluefin Tuna and array ...

  • Villa Maria Estate Ltd

    Villa Maria is one of New Zealand's leading winemakers. Founded in 1961 by its current owner a...

  • Konrad & Conrad

    Konrad Wines is fully owned by the Hengstler family, Konrad, Sigrun and their two sons, Conrad an...

  • Kemblefield Estate Winery

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

  • Coopers Creek

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

  • Mud House Wines

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Twelfth Night Pinot Noir 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Velawines

  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012


    Another good Savignon blanc from New Zealand. Citrus scents, ocean dews, middle legs. Paired well with Panned seared tuna, and sauteed veggies. Read More

    Wine review by Peternywine

  • Decibel Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard 2013


    great stuff. affordably priced. just finished dinner out w friends on the deck and everyone loved it and asked where they could purchase it! Read More

    Wine review by pizzaman777

  • Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir Martinborough Russian Jack 2009


    Joyce Gilmore single-handedly consumed this bottle at her 65th birthday party. She raved about it. Read More

    Wine review by raindance

  • Oyster Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough 2012


    I think you would be hard pressed to find a better Pinot Noir for the price. Dry and crisp, with hints of cedar and tobacco for the nose. Read More

    Wine review by jwhittenknapp

  • Decibel Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard 2013


    Delicious. It is a very great example of the New Zealand SB. Shows intricate layers of citrus, offset by crisp acidity. Very refreshing. Read More

    Wine review by MrLarson

  • Craggy Range Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Te Muna Road Vineyard 2011


    This one is considered to be a premium NZ sauvignon blanc, I was looking forward to trying this one. Crisp and aromatic nose, with lots of citrus notes along with some grassy and nectarine notes. Lots of minerality. Sharp on the palate with apple and all the other stuff I just smelled. Tons of acid, but balanced. They say this wine is supposed t... Read More

    Wine review by JenniferT

  • Big Al.  Thanks for the excellent report.  It sounds like you guys ... with wines from Australia, New Zealand and Argentina in addition to California.  That was eye opening for me.  I don't know if you've ever watch the videos at their web site, but they are very interesting.  Nick Goldschmidt is a very charismatic guy.  He does a terrific job... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Simply Naked Sauvignon Blanc Unoaked 2012


    Crisp and overwhelming smell of apples and grapes. Semi sweet and a little sour like green apples and green grapes. Definitely has a kick. Read More

    Wine review by winotance

  • This was a great New Zealand wine I had recently.  My wine buddy (Chester) lived there for some time.Definitely don't mix the two country's citizens up!  The general concensus is, you Aussie love taking the piss out of anybody!  When the Commonwealth Games were in Victoria in 1994, I was in the athlete's village and the Aussies were the troublem... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

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