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New Zealand is known around the world for its wine regions. However, you may be surprised to learn it is only responsible for producing less than 1 % of the world’s wine and in 2014, New Zealand ranked 14th in global wine production.
New Zealand is Known best for it’s Marlborough region, due to it’s much loved Marlborough sauvignon blanc. However, there are more than 2000 vineyards stretching across this country. Here is a list of New Zealand’s most popular wine regions.
Marlborough is the region responsible for putting New Zealand on the map. Located at the north-east tip of South Island, Marlborough produces more than two-thirds of the country’s wine.
The area has 20,000 hectares of vineyards and more than 80% of the wine produced in this region is Sauvignon blanc. This particular wine thrives here due to its long sunny days and low rainfall.
Marlborough has won many awards over the years, not only for is Sauvignon Blanc but also for its Chardonnay, Reserves and Pinot Noirs.
Marlborough is also the home to many household names such as Villa Maria and Cloudy Bay, as well as smaller family-run producers such as Fromm and Saint Clair.
Hawke’s Bay is famous for its fabulous fresh produce. High temperatures and sunny days provide the perfect conditions for grapes, and it’s for this reason Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s second-biggest wine producer.
The history of wine is very long in this region. The first grapes were planted in 1851 and today more than 70 wineries are scattered across Hawke’s Bay. Stretching over its plains, peaks and valleys, these vineyards produce a wide range of wines.
Hawkes Bay produces Bordeaux-style reds, full-bodied chardonnays and aromatic Pinot Gris that are enjoyed by wine lovers across the globe. This region is also home to some of the country’s best restaurants.
New Zealand’s third-largest wine producer in Gisborne. This region is on the far east coast of the North Island and is known for its surfing and wine production.
More than 50% of Gisborne’s wine is its aromatic and fruity Chardonnay. It also produces lovely Pinot Gris that is easy-drinking and incredibly popular among wine lovers.
The region also produces viogniers, gewürztraminers and rieslings. Gisborne however, does not produce many red wines due to the coastal climates.
Gisborne’s wineries are located in Ormond, Patutahi and Manutuke. Ormond is the home of the oldest vines in Gisborne and responsible for producing the very best Chardonnay in the region.
Located on the south-East corner of the North Island, Wairarapa is at the very heart of New Zealand’s wine hub. The area is home to character-filled towns and boutique wineries, which many travellers come to enjoy.
This region produces some of the country’s finest premium Pinot Noirs and many vineyards are family-owned and operated.
Martinborough, a quaint village within the region, has 20 wineries known not only Pinot Noir but also for its intense Sauvignon Blancs and Syrahs.
Along with wonderful wines, this region is also famous for its beautiful scenic views and day tours.
The Canterbury Plains enjoy a sunny, dry climate and an unusually long growing season thanks to the shielding effect of the Southern Alps.
This provides the ideal conditions for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and aromatics such as Riesling and Pinot Gris.
The Canterbury plains stretch over 200 kilometres along the east coast of New Zealand.
One sub-region that’s gaining recognition is the Waipara Valley. Boasting 31 wineries and 1250 hectares of vineyards. Noted for its Pinots and Rieslings.
This dramatic region of snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes and plunging ravine is famous for its Pinot Noir.
Winning its first award for burgundy back in 1881, Central Otago has grown in strength over years and has now earned its place among the world top pinot producers.
With its extreme climate, this region sees great success due to it’s hot, dry summers; cold, snowy winters and wildly fluctuating overnight temperatures.
The various sub-regions within Central Otago produce a wide range of different wines. While some sub-regions produce light, fruit-forward wines; others make rich, brooding drops.
While Pinot Noir gets most of the attention, you’ll also find some excellent Rieslings and Pinot Gris.
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