New Zealand wines are becoming better known on the international market, however most of the country’s products are made in its cooler maritime climates. Similar to most other New World wines, New Zealand wines are made and labelled as a single varietal wine or with the components listed on its label when made from a blend of grapes. The country is best known for its Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, although more recently, the Pinot noir from Martinborough, Central Otago and Marlborough has become known for its dense flavour.
Wine making has taken place in New Zealand for more than 100 years, however only in its modern form in the middle of the 20th century. In recent years, its growth has been very rapid, averaging at about 17% per year over the last two decades. The country now produces around 290 million litres from 91,750 acres of vineyards, and the great majority of that is dedicated solely to Sauvignon Blanc. Virtually all of New Zealand’s wines are exported (as much as 90%), with the USA, Australia and Britain being their primary markets. In 2017, the amount raised for the country in export revenue from wine alone was $1.66 billion NZ.
In Otago alone, there are currently around 35 wineries which have been established over the last few years, some by celebrities, and it has been named as one of the up and coming wine regions to watch by wine experts. With over 760 hectares dedicated to vineyards in this region alone it’s hardly surprising that so many quality wines are being created here.
Although New Zealand ranks itself as one of the youngest wine producing countries in the world, it is working hard to make up the gaps, and is introducing new innovations to make its products really stand out. From lighter wines to developing innovative ways of busting viruses, its industry is on the way up.