Wines from New Zealand

New Zealand may be better known for its many sheep than for its wines...but that's changing! The cultivation of vines is relatively recent, dating back to 1819, but it is only from the middle of the 20th century that it really developed.

2 Product(s)

2 Product(s)

Two islands, the northern and southern islands, make up New Zealand. Vineyards can be found on both islands, 67% in the north and 37% in the south, covering a total area of 8200ha. New Zealand can be divided into 10 regions, each with its own specificities, which reinforces the diversity of the wines produced there. The origin of vineyards in New Zealand dates back to the 19th century, when a French bishop, having created a small community, dedicated himself to the cultivation of a few vines. The production was not huge for more than a century, and has been growing at a fantastic rate for about 25 years. The progress was mainly qualitative and some New Zealand wines today manage to match the greatest. We can mention, among others, the Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region, as well as the Bordeaux-style blends from the Hawke's Bay region. No sort of denomination has yet been created (AOC style), but each producer mentions the grape variety and the region of production on their labels. Although representing little more than one percent of the world's vineyards, it can be said that kiwi wines are now among the wines to be enjoyed without moderation!

The climates and soils being very diverse between the two islands and the different regions, there is one constant: the maritime presence in the environment of the New Zealand vineyard. Indeed, the vine is never more than 100km away from the ocean. On the other hand, along the coasts, the landscape is never the same: from dense forests to high mountains and then to more desert soils, the variety of wines represents the variety of landscapes.

The grape varieties present are of course Chardonnay, occupying more than 25% of the vines on both islands. Then comes Sauvignon Blanc in the Marlborough region, in the north of the South Island. The now famous Winery Cloudy Bay (which caused a sensation by winning a wine competition in London in 1985 and which now belongs to the LVMH group) is an example of this. The first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in 1973 and it is now the largest and best known of New Zealand's wine-growing regions. The quality of the wines from this region is recognized worldwide: an explosion of exotic fruits, citrus zest (grapefruit), boxwood and notes of fresh herbs. An elegant, fresh, serious and perfectly balanced wine. Riesling and a little Pinot Noir can also be found in this region.

The Auckland region is also rich in excellent wineries: Henderson, Kumeu and Huapai. The grape varieties represented here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, as well as some Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Finally Hawkes Bay is the second largest wine-growing region in the country and enjoys the most sunshine of the two islands. Located on the northern island, Chardonnay is king there, its power and richness are perfectly exploited, bringing fatness and creaminess to its wines. The Cabernet and especially Merlot varieties are also represented here. But Hawke's Bay is especially renowned for the Bordeaux blends that are made there to create great red wines. The aromas of blackcurrant, pepper, cedar and tobacco explode on the palate. Dry, straight, with harmonious, fresh acidity and medium-strength tannins.

Freshness, balance and elegance characterize New Zealand wines. They are an excellent accompaniment on summer evenings, whether with a light salad with citrus fruit or with grilled salmon or roasted chicken and vegetables.