New Zealand doesn’t produce a large percentage of the world’s wines, but its wines are world renowned for being of high quality with a distinct flavour all of its own. Many of the Kiwi wines have won multiple international awards and it is all due to their cool, dry climate with lots of sunshine.
So let’s take a look at some of New Zealand’s wines and why they are so highly regarded by wine connoisseurs around the world.
This is the wine that first made the world sit up and accept New Zealand as a serious player in the wine industry. First planted in Marlborough at the tip of the South Island in the early 1970’s, no one was ready when the exciting fruity and spicy flavours of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc took the world by storm.
Marlborough is now recognised as one of the great Sauvignon Blanc regions in the world and is responsible for nearly 90% of New Zealand’s wine exports.
Well known as a wine produced in Burgundy, France, the Central Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island is now regarded as a serious contender, producing some of the best Pinot Noir wines in the world. It is only since the early 70’s that this little grape has been grown in New Zealand and it wasn’t until the early 90’s that they had any real success.
Now mainly grown in Central Otago on the South Island, the cool, dry climate of the region provides plenty of sunshine for this red grape to mature into a world class wine.
Along with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay is one of the most popular grapes grown in New Zealand, with this wine predominating the further north you travel. New Zealand’s Chardonnays have been called elegant and fruit driven, with citrus undertones and a crisp acidity, the further south they are grown.
On the North Island, Chardonnays tend to be full bodied, rich and rounded and on the South Island they are lighter and fresher. Wine connoisseurs love the versatility of New Zealand’s Chardonnays and it continues to be one of New Zealand’s favourite wines.
This humble little white wine has had a rapid rise to fame in New Zealand, from first being planted in the 1990’s to now being the country’s third most popular wine variety. Pinot Gris is grown throughout New Zealand, as they require the cooler temperatures to produce a more acidic and structured wine than can be achieved in warmer climes.
This means that South Island Pinot Gris wines are more acidic with a tighter structure than the North Island Pinot Gris wines, which tend to be richer and fruitier.
Cabernet and Merlot blends
In New Zealand, red wines are quite often blended, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot being top of the list, and Malbec a new addition. These red grapes are grown mainly in the warmer areas of the North Island (they are also known as Bordeaux blends), are early maturing wines, which fruit driven with a great body and age well.
So check out the specials on wines from Advintage this Christmas and introduce yourself and your family to some fabulous New Zealand wines.