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 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

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

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

  • 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 ...

  • Villa Maria Estate Ltd

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

  • Dog Point Vineyards

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

  • Selaks Wines

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

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Matua Valley Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    All I can say is value. This is wine is not too citrusy but has just enough acidity to mix and match with most shell fish or earthy foods. Great sipping wine too! Read More

    Wine review by sbr1105


  • Speaking of a couple-of-a wines, Sandra and I poured wines again tonight at the ... ... the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  From the red wines I was pouring, I think the Bordeaux was the best, followed by the Zinfandel from Lodi, C Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Spy Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013

    Snoothrank:

    Cranberry juice with rootbeer brown hues in color....excellent clarity...looks like an above average Pinot Noir. Loads of cherry and dark assorted berries on the nose, along with smooth spiciness and mild mocha/chocolate. The flavors are of delicate berries, slight oak dryness and young Port qualities...alcohol is very gentle and overall the m... Read More

    Wine review by chriscage


  • I had the dregs from some tastings I did Monday paired with a First Light New Zealand Wagyu Tri-Tip, Squash Mash and Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber Salad with Peach Dressing. I grilled the meat while Dava made the salad and side which BTW were off the hook.The Dr Crane was delicious yet still in diapers. The Three Twins had a nice juiciness to it and... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Kono Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014

    Snoothrank:

    A real beauty. Apples, lemongrass and grapefruit combine with a little petrol, acidity and wonderful minerality to give a refreshing, mouthwatering finish. Drink now - Paul 90 points Read More

    Wine review by rckr1951


  • Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay 2014

    Snoothrank:

    Fruity and acidic with a smooth finish. Everything I look for in a good white. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher


  • The OP did make an effort, it wasn't just a shill, imho, with even a second ... response in Australia and New Zealand at the very least. Where was the photo you posted taken?Do you yourself enjoy wine? What kind? Etc. Would be good to hear from you on these subjects.Mark, ever do any yog Read More

    Forum post in the topic Attending to the Vinyasa at...


  • Babich Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Mariano's, 8/2016, Mary bought. Babich eeks out a close win over Kim Crawford ... Crawford in the August 2016, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, tasting by Mary. I sipped each, and I agree. This was a very close decision, a wrong purchase decision between these two wines is not possibl Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2015

    Snoothrank:

    Mariano's, 8/2016, Mary bought and Mary loved it. More than she, (not me) usually spends on white wine. Good to know she favors it, as this label is readily available almost everywhere. So, when I am aware enough (rarely, I admit), to bring home a treat for her I have this easy option. Read More

    Wine review by raindance


  • Hey guys - I've rather busy as you know.  The NWC Italian Night and we ... Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand (2)2013 Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio (2)NV Caves Messias Santola "Crab Wine" Vino Verde2014 Fran Etz Gruner Veltliner Austria2013 Tomaresca "Neprica" IGT Puglia (3)2013 Banfi "Centine" IGT Toscana (3)2013 Frattoria Del Cerra Marem... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Try a Lime Rock Pinot Noir from limestone hills in Central Hawkes Bay, NZ. 2009 if you can find it, as Jancis put it in her 100 Red Wine list for 2012.

    Comment by 395997limerock 395997 limerock


  • On behalf of Lemongrass Productions Ltd., we would be delighted if you could join us for New Zealand's largest wine tasting event. Wine Auckland is held on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th August 2014 at the Viaduct Event Centre, Central Auckland. We would love you to help us promote Wine Auckland. As the event is in its inaugural year it's importa...

    Comment by 1527058Snoother 1527058 1527058 Snoother 1527058


  • Hello, Mr.Wai Xin Chan, I am very happy to know you. This is Joseph In Tianjin Of China. I am a small importer of wine and also interested in New Zealand wine. I am looking for the wines produced in New Zealand which is cheaper and suitable to Chinese taste. As an expert of Oceania, Could you recommend one or two the wineyards to me ? ...

    Comment by 1174965Joseph Zhou 1174965 Joseph Zhou


  • I am trying to find stockists of Chevalier de Bayard 2007 Vin de Pays De i aude. Is there anyone out there that can help me. Live in ChCh New Zealand

    Comment by 1137287Snoother 1137287 1137287 Snoother 1137287


  • 2010 Omaka Springs Sauvignon Blanc is on the current BevMo $.05 far $15.04 for two bottles - great value!!

    Comment by 889924CindyNapa 889924 CindyNapa


  • Still trying to find a good Pinot that compares to Rabbit Ranch, one of my favourite NZ reds and relatively inexpensive. Highly recommend Mount Difficulty and Roaring Meg around the same price - but keen for some advice on the best NZ red so I can have a bottle ready for my first child being born in October :)

    Comment by 666955samdouglas 666955 samdouglas


  • For honest no BS NZ wine reviews visit http://www.winevaulttv.com

    Comment by 77525Jayson Bryant 77525 Jayson Bryant


  • Some of our favorite wineries are Forrest Estate, Sacred Hill, Gibbston Valley and Alan Scott. there cover a range of price ranges and encompass some of the more famous wine regions of NZ. I do find most NZ wines to be very similar, but those mentioned above represent some of the better examples. A good Central Otago Pinot (Gibbston Valley) or...

    Comment by 577576IntermeDx 577576 IntermeDx


  • I love Yealands Estate Winery in Marlborough NZ. Visited their cellar door, great experience and really enjoyed their wines and their sustainable vision.

    Comment by 561401Singaporegirl 561401 Singaporegirl


  • Hi Dalizard, Yes tried the '08 Pinot, it is another monster, but I think a big step up on the '07 which to me came across almost Syrah like, it was also a monster. '08 is clearly Pinot, it is huge with big Pinot fruit (i.e. Berries and plum etc) and oriental spices with a big syrupy finish. Put it in your cellar and forget about it for another 5...

    Comment by 551960Damndit 551960 Damndit


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