There was a time when people considered only a few wine makers all over the world worth mentioning. You will have heard of places like Italy, France and the United States. However, more than a decade ago, New Zealand set out to double its wine exports to 2 billion per year. That goal has been achieved.
To put this into perspective, since 2012 New Zealand has increased its number of wineries, increased the producing area of wine grapes, and increased its total production overall of wine during this time.
In short New Zealand is now being talked about with some of the greatest wine producers in the world.
A Few Great Wines of New Zealand
Pinot Noir is well suited to New Zealand’s terrain. Mostly grown in Martinborough and most famously in Central Otago where the wines are dense with strong flavors of dark fruit.
Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer have found a home in the cooler parts of the South Island outside of Marlborough and Central Otago. They include Nelson and North Canterbury.
In that Central Otago region, we have Mount Michael Wines. Established in 1994, they have been crafting quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Rosé for the last 25 years. Mount Michael Wines are a great representation of the land they come from.
Another outstanding wine producer is Misha’s Vineyard also located in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago. The sun drenched terraces face the north west and it promotes optimal conditions for producing world class Pinot Noir and a wide range of aromatic white varieties.
This is a very small sample of wines that come from New Zealand that are growing in recognition and popularity.
A Great country For Grape Growing
Most of New Zealand’s wine regions have what’s called a maritime climate. The reason for this is the long, thin shape of the country means that vineyards are never more than 120 km away from the coast. While most are far closer this gives the grapes a unique flavor profile. There is a line of mountains that runs through the middle of the country from the Tongariro National Park in the North island to the Southern Alps in the south island. This protects most of the main wine regions from the sometimes strong westerly winds from the Tasman Sea.
Because of these winds however, there are few wine regions on New Zealand’s west coast.
The island also lies on the boundary between the Pacific and the Indo-Australian tectonic plate. This contributes to the volcanic soils that are found in many of New Zealand’s wine regions. This is particularly true in the North Island. The South Island attributes glacial movement to the unique flavors of the grapes being grown.
New Zealand wines are quickly becoming as popular as wines from regions like the United States, or Italy. Critics certainly give their endorsement with the high ratings for many wines that come from this great island. You are invited to explore this incredible region and grab some amazing wines.