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

  • 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...

  • 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

  • Whitehaven Wine Company Ltd

    Whitehaven Wine Company was established in 1994 by majority shareholders, Greg and Sue White, and...

  • Cloudy Bay Vineyards

    Cloudy Bay has been the benchmark New Zealand wine, from the iconic New Zealand winemaker Kevin J...

  • Oyster Bay Wines

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

  • Dog Point Vineyards

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

  • Mount Cass

    Mount Cass is a family owned boutique vineyard producing outstanding handcrafted wines in the hea...

  • 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

  • Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014


    Melon on the nose. Fruity in the palate with balancing acidity and a slightly bitter finish, Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • Well, my last volunteer wine pouring at the Wine in the Water Park event for ... Manawa Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand while I had the Sancerre from Franc Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Azure Bay Sémillon-Sauvignon Blanc Blend 2002


    This was a most surprising beautiful wine. Highly recommended and a great price. Please try Read More

    Wine review by JulieStewart

  • Matua Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014


    No written review

    Wine review by Vintage GB

  • Cupcake Pinot Grigio 2010


    Full and complex, this wine has a nose with hints of pineapple, pears and sweet lemons. The wine is aged sur lie in stainless steel and concrete tanks which attribute a delicious creamy mouthfeel.Pair this wine with a mixed green salad or Creole shrimp with garlic and lemon. Read More

    Wine review by RDDEES

  • Fault Line Pinot Noir 2013


    Light and dusty aromas have a hint of rose petal and some cherry blossom with notes of blueberry. Packs a load of acidity in the mouth, quite tart with mostly red fruit flavors of black cherry and ripe raspberry. Finishes with a wash of tar and toast. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Squealing Pig Sauvignon Blanc 2012


    No written review

    Wine review by Liandra160

  • The basement guest room is all finished today.  I invested about 21 hours ... ... comes from Marlborough, New Zealand this afternoon (it's not so bad really).Have you guys / gals ever wondered about that picture that is constantly in the background of the pictures I take on my workbench?  That's Sandra of course.  It was taken in the late 198... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • One case where retsina worked just fine, even far away from the eastern ... ... advice *not* to match with New Zealand sauvigon blanc, which I thought interesting because she's Aussie and likes a broader range of the wines from those islands across the Tasman Sea than I do. I haven't tried either of these two matches, but maybe I'll let her in... Read More

    Forum post in the topic And now for something...

  • Allen Scott Sauvignon Blanc 2004


    No written review

    Wine review by woolfepac

  • 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

    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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