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

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Pinot Grigio

    History of the grape: Pinot Gris was planted in Burgundy, France as far back as the 1300s. It then spread through Eur...

  • 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...

  • Pinot Noir

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

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

  • Kim Crawford Wines

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

  • Villa Maria Estate Ltd

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

  • Lincoln Estate

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

  • Selaks Wines

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

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

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

  • Whitehaven Wine Company Ltd

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

Page 1 of 416

New Zealand on Snooth

  • Te Mata Estate Red Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay Coleraine 2009

    Snoothrank:

    This was my first NZ Cabernet blend and it definitely won't be my last. Dark berries, good acidity, smooth tannins and a long finish. A very elegant wine. Read More

    Wine review by BradoP


  • Oyster Bay Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Very light, noticeably translucent/transparent red. Somewhat delicate yet complex nose with note of leather and cigar box, and some blackberry fruit. Surprisingly light and fruit forward on the palate with balanced soft acidity. A great PN for value, but I was hoping for greater complexity and length on the palate after sniffing this one. Read More

    Wine review by JenniferT


  • Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Fall Harvest 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Nice wine for a budget it's sweet and crisp and works well with a cold salad on a spring day. Read More

    Wine review by perfectlywright


  • Alpha Domus 'The Pilot' Hawkes Bay New Zealand Merlot 2012

    Snoothrank:

    this wine will assure me of being a Merlot fan, as I have not been. The proprietor has outdone themselves in making this variety shine. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Fairhall Downs Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012

    Snoothrank:

    A very fresh flowery bouquet reminding one of the newness and freshness of spring. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Homer Marlborough New Zealand Pinot Noir 2011

    Snoothrank:

    until I aerated the bottle the wine seemed to have spent way too long in an oak barrel, but after aerating it became more palatable. Read More

    Wine review by Pickit4flavor


  • Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc 2012

    Snoothrank:

    Fizzled out like a bad episode of the simpsons. The initial nose in the bowl was airy and fun. Crisp. However within a few minutes it fell flat on its face. Any hint of a good nose just kinda fell off. Tasting it initially was the same situation. Not bad. Zesty and clear, however the high acidity needs to be put in check. Didnt really en... Read More

    Wine review by jescobio


  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Awatere Valley 2011

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by puhnner


  • Astrolabe Wines Pinot Gris Marlborough 2006

    Snoothrank:

    No written review

    Wine review by bikerejs


  • This is a topic on which I have strong feelings. I have had wines that were ... oxidized. (It tasted sort of New Zealand like in the beginning which in my book is not a good thing.)In general I have found that the greater the intensity the wine the more likely it is to open up with significant air. For something like a massively intense Marcas... Read More

    Forum post in the topic I'll Probably Get Kicked Off...


  • 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


  • anyone tried Dry River, Pinot Noir, yet?

    Comment by 366188dalizard 366188 dalizard


  • Have you tried Torlesse Wines? The Pinot Noir is quite nice. Very good quality wine for the $'s.

    Comment by 75641mundi 75641 mundi


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