Although a small and relatively new wine producer, the quality of New Zealand white wine is considered amongst the highest in the world. Famous for its unique, gooseberry scented Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough, it also produces fine Chardonnay from Gisbourne. It was Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough that put New Zealand on the white wine on the wine map. The grape was only first planted thirty years ago, but they have defined the country’s wine image.
New Zealand’s cool, generally maritime climate is perfect for growing white grapes, giving them ample natural acidity across a wide range of planted varieties. It’s not just Sauvignon Blanc on the New Zealand white list, but stalwarts like Chardonnay, Pinto Gris and Riesling are among other top offerings that demonstrate the country’s diversity and complexity.
This diversity is only set to blossom, as the rev. Samuel Marsden predicted in his journal back in 1819 after planting 100 vines in Kerikeri. He wrote: “New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine.”