New Zealand Wine – What does the island offer?
New Zealand is an island in the Pacific Ocean. At present, the country has 10 major wine-growing regions all over the South and North Islands, the most significant of which is Marlborough.
A number of wines variety are made in New Zealand, and the most popular of them are the grassy whites with pungent odor made from Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough. Another wine that proved itself worthy to New Zealand’s terroir is the Pinot Noir and is home in Marlborough, Central Otago, and Martinborough, where wines are described as muscular and dense with strong dark fruit flavor.
The different varieties of New Zealand wines
Wine enthusiasts continue to explore the diverse range of wine varieties in New Zealand. The first wine to put the country on the map is the Sauvignon Blanc, and it builds a cult following with millions worldwide however in warmer regions of New Zealand, Cabernet blends and Syrah flourish became popular.
Riesling and Pinot Noir now grow in the cold areas (southerly regions such as Canterbury, Central Otago, Wairarapa, Waipara, and Marlborough) with great success.
How the Wine Industry in New Zealand Started?
In 1819, the first vines in New Zealand were planted in Northland by James Busby, the father of antipodean viticulture. Then in 1850, the Missionaries brought vines to the Hawkes Bay. In the late 19th and 20th century, the Dalmatian settlers planted vines all over Northland and Auckland – these serve as the foundation for today’s New Zealand wine industry.
In the 20th century, the country’s vineyards were confined to the east coast of the North Island, and the wine was produced only for local consumption. It was in 1970 when the wine being produced in New Zealand started exporting and Montana and Auckland-bases winemakers bought land in Marlborough. After dealing with a few problems with poorly selected grape varieties, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc finds great success in the 1980s and 1990s, producing a style of wine that was commended for its herbaceous and its forwardness, almost “sweaty” character.
Easy access screwcapped wines
Most of the New Zealand beverages are sold with screwcaps which are also known as Stelvin closures. Around 95% of the wines being sold in New Zealand are sealed this way. You might be wondering why winemakers shy away from using cork? It’s because the 2, 4, 6-trichloroanisole are being transferred to wine, this affects the flavors and aromas of the wine which is not too appealing and why winemakers often stick to screwcap in this region.
By using the screw cap closure, you will not have a hard time pouring the wine, and Australia and New Zealand are known to be the leaders in the use of screw caps for wines.
The future of New Zealand Wine
The future of the wine industry in New Zealand is strong both in local sales and in export and there is no question that the country is one of the best producers of fine wines around the world. Aside from Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Rose, Chardonnay, and Methode Traditionnelle are some of the New Zealand wines that are getting noticed by many wine buyers.
The statistics taken from winegrowers in New Zealand show that there is an increasing demand for NZ wine in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the USA. Sauvignon Blanc topped the list by a significant amount exported, followed by Pinot Noir lagging a little behind.
The demand for wine in New Zealand is high, and sometimes producers are running out of stock sooner than they expected. They would ask their customers to wait until the next release arrives or they are forced to release the next vintage earlier. To solve this problem, they have come up with the idea of diversifying and targeting multiple markets at the same time particularly for experts.
This shows that the future of New Zealand is strong and white and the road to this industry will always be challenging.
Top wine region in New Zealand
Marlborough is the most popular New Zealand wine region; it is well-known for producing great tasting Sauvignon Blanc – almost 77% of wine production in New Zealand is being produced in Marlborough. The region also manufactures Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Marlborough is situated in the far Northeastern part of New Zealand. You will find here the most beautiful vineyard underneath the towering mountain ranges within the Hinterlands to the South and North. In the center of the region, lowland valleys provide ideal soil compositions, and the weather is perfect for growing concentrated red and white wines.
To the North and East, you will find amazing coastlines and small islands. Marlborough is truly one of the best geographically diverse wine regions in the country, and because of this, the region was able to produce the best and unique New Zealand wine regarding flavor and aromatics.