An Introduction To New Zealand’s Wine Style
The wine industry in New Zealand, although still relatively young, has received much success around the world. New Zealand has distinctive wine growing regions which spread both over its North and South islands. With more than 2000 vineyards stretching 1600 kilometres, this country’s wine offerings are as diverse as its beautiful landscapes. This New Zealand wine guide will introduce to you to some of this country’s magnificent wine growing regions.
The country’s cool maritime climate makes it ideal for producing many unique and premium-quality wines. As a result of this, New Zealand winemakers have developed a diverse selection of wine styles. Sauvignon Blanc accounts for two-thirds of the wine produced in New Zealand. The explosive flavours that New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc leaves on the tongue led to its superstar status in the over the last twenty years.
Other wine growing regions of New Zealand are more known for their Chardonnay such as Gisborne’s rich and peachy offering. Or the internationally known soft and fruity Pinot Noir produced in Central Otago.
A New World Wine Guide: Exploring New Zealand’s Vineyards
Although the wine industry in New Zealand is still in its infancy, since bursting on to the global stage 25 years ago they have become a wine powerhouse. While there are over 2000 vineyards in New Zealand, this wine guide will focus on three regions in particular. These regions are Nelson, Central Otago and Marlborough.
The Wine Region Of Nelson
Situated on the northern tip of the South Island, the picturesque region of Nelson offers a Mediterranean climate and ideal aromatic grape varieties. Long known for its apple orchards and bountiful crops, Nelson is one of New Zealand’s smallest wine growing regions.
Surrounded by mountains, it’s sheltered topography protects it from strong winds. While its proximity to the Tasman sea gives a cooler climate which is perfect for the production of aromatic wines. The region’s varying soil structure means that vineyards are split across two areas: the Moutere Hills and the Waimea Plains.
Moutere Hills benefits from clay soils gives richness and texture to the grape varieties that are grown here. Whereas, the rockier soil and maritime influence in Waimea Plains give its wine a lighter and fresher style.
Central Otago: The Most Southernly Wine Region
Ringed by mountains and interlaced with lakes, Central Otago is known as one of New Zealand’s most spectacular wine regions. Located in the southwest of the South Island, it provides the ultimate semi-continental climate for the production of expressive and elegant wines.
Due to the inland mountainous landscape, its unique climate and glacially deprived soils are ideal for the production of Pinot Noir. The vineyards of Central Otago produce not only Pinot Noir (although it accounts for 80% of wine production in this area) but also a variety of white wines. These include Reisling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
Wines from Central Otago certainly have both a vibrancy and purity which is reflective of the beautiful landscape this region has to offer.
Marlborough: Putting New Zealand On The Map
In the 1980s, Marlborough put New Zealand wine on the global wine stage with the production of its powerfully aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. Located at the north-east coast of the South Island, it has over 20,000 hectares of vineyards and produces three-quarters of New Zealand’s wine. This makes it the country’s largest wine region.
Not only does it offer Sauvignon Blanc but also exquisite Pinot Noir, beautiful aromatics and intense Chardonnays. Its diverse soils and the moderate temperature is key to its fruit intensity and varietal expressions. From the tropical quality of its Sauvignon Blanc to the dryness of its Gewürztraminer, this region certainly makes it a contender on the wine stage.
Best New Zealand Wine For You To Try In Ontario
Finding examples of great New Zealand wine in Ontario is simple especially when you are buying from a reputable online wine agent. If you are looking for a medium-bodied Pinot Noir, consider tasting Te Mania Pinot Noir from the Nelson region of New Zealand. Offering red cherry and mocha notes combined with savoury, spicy aromas this wine will continue to develop in complexity in the next few years. Pairs perfectly with roast chicken or a meaty fish such as salmon or monkfish.
Similarly as beautiful is the dry, medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc from the Central Otago region, Mt Difficulty – Roaring Meg Sauvignon Blanc 2017. Ideal for the summer months, this wine offers tasters a beautiful profile consisting of gooseberry flavours juxtaposed with bell pepper and freshly cut hay. Finishing with a flourish of passionfruit and rhubarb on the palate. This wine is an absolute New Zealand delight.