New Zealand Wine Regions

New Zealand has become known for producing some of the best wines in the world, and there are several amazing wine regions in the country, producing all varieties of wine.

Northland

As the name suggests, Northland sits in the north of the country, and varieties in plentiful supply from here include Chardonnay and a range of red wines as well as Pinot Gris white wines. The region benefits from warmer temperatures and fertile soils, and this means that there can be extremely good harvests. By carefully managing the vines, the wineries in this region ensure that the quality of wine is not reduced in any way.

Auckland

This is a relatively small wine producing region, and as the name suggests, it is located around the city of Auckland. The area is known for producing excellent quality Chardonnay as well as Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Within this region, you will find the sub-regions of Matakana, Kumeu and Waiheke Island. The warmer temperatures here have made it possible for growers to experiment with varieties that are normally found in Mediterranean countries.

Gisborne

Most of the wineries in this region can be found around the city of Gisborne. In the middle part of the 20th century, most wines produced here were cask wines or fortified wines. It was in the early 1980s that the region moved towards the production of bottled wines and started producing higher quality wines.

Hawke’s Bay

Hawke’s Bay is the oldest wine-producing region in New Zealand and is well known for its red wines including Merlot. It now produced more than 10% of the country’s total wine output, and there are several smaller sub-regions that lie within it, including Gimblett Gravels and Te Mata, which are home to some of the country’s top wine brands.

Wairarapa

This area is one of the smallest in New Zealand. Sub-regions include Martinborough, Masterton and Gladstone and it only developed in the 1970s once a number of scientific studies revealed that the soil in the area would be excellent for growing the Pinot Noir variety of grape. There are now in excess of 110 wineries in the region, and the area accounts for around 3% of the country’s total output. Half of the region is devoted to Pinot Noir, with other varieties including Chardonnay and the Syrah red wines.

Nelson

This is known as the sunniest region in New Zealand, and late-harvest varieties are possible thanks to the long autumn season. Within this region lie the two-sub-regions of Moutere Valley and Waimea, and there are plenty of wineries here that have won awards, making this a great destination for those who want to do a wine tasting tour.

Marlborough

Marlborough is one of the largest wine producing regions in New Zealand, and the wines that come from here are mainly Sauvignon Blanc. It is claimed that about three-quarters of the country’s wine production comes from this region, and the sub-regions here include Renwick and Spring Creek.

Canterbury

The Canterbury region lies around the city of Christchurch, and most of the wineries can be found within easy reach of the city. The two sub-regions are North Canterbury and the Waipara Valley. Varieties grown here include Riesling and Chardonnay, while the Waipara Valley seems to specialise in Pinot Noir. Award-winning wineries located in this region include Greystone Wiens and Black Estate.