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

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

  • 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 http://www.gisbornewine.co.nz 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

  • Putiki Bay Vineyard

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

  • Selaks Wines

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

  • Kim Crawford Wines

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

  • Konrad & Conrad

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

  • Mud House Wines

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

  • Oyster Bay Wines

    Internationally-recognised for producing "elegant, assertive wines with glorious fruit flavours",...

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New Zealand on Snooth

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

    Snoothrank:

    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

    Snoothrank:

    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!


  • So where was the SB from? Not NZ, by any chance?  ;-)Good link, NG. Nice ... ... of which are screwcapped New Zealand and South African Sauvignon Blancs, and I’ve noticed that every single one of them smells like a struck match.  We also call this flinty. It’s a bit like I imagine hell will smell like. Brimstone. I know this smell already, ac... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What do y'all think about...


  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 375 2013

    Snoothrank:

    White grapefruit, crisp and acidic with a some lemon pith and a decent finish. Pretty good QPR and a nice summer quaff. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0


  • Decibel Sauvignon Blanc Single Vineyard 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Floral on the nose in a very light wildflower kind of way with hints of lime leaf, citrus pith and creamy lees adding complexity along with a hint of sweet orchard fruit. languid on the palate. Theres acidity here but this this is one soft, broad, creamy sauvignon blanc, particularly when one considers the alcohol here. Fairly elegant with the s... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  • You have a pretty good start on young reds if you like Cab Franc.  I'd ... ... the whole divide between New Zealand SB and French (mostly from the Loire, but also from Bordeaux).  Chenin Blanc is often a good deal and it's going to be the antithesis of those creamy chards, all citrus pith, stones, and acid, but aging into wax and honeysuckle. W... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Welcome to the Snooth Forum, Minky.  And congratulations on composing an ... ... and Pouilly-Fume) and New Zealand.  I'm sure you will get more good advice from other contributors.Oh, and your close sent me to Google to find out what "slainte" means.  Thank yo Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!


  • Easter dinner...Started with a BC Syrah, then a New Zealand blend (my wine buddy was there in 2009 and picked it up) followed by (his pick from my fridge) a 1999 Barolo.  The Barolo could have easily gone five or ten more years, still tannic and not nearly a nice brick-red.  The New Zealand was the winner. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


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