NZ & South Island
New Zealand wine
Formed by a most unusual land and climate, New Zealand wine took only a few decades to become a firm favourite among wine lovers the world over, especially Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
The country spans latitudes equivalent to Italy, so we get intense sunshine. However, the cold surrounding ocean places New Zealand at the coolest end of the winegrowing spectrum. Combined with a rugged, unspoiled landscape and winegrowers committed to sustainable practices, New Zealand wine achieves flavours of unrivalled intensity and purity.
The long, dry summerss, aided by cooling breezes, allow grapes to ripen slowly, developing intense fruit flavours as well as good acid structure. This balance between fruit characters and acidity sets New Zealand wine apart.
Most of the country’s vineyards lie on the protected valleys and plains along the east coast. They are all different and each New Zealand wine region has its own strengths. However, none of them have had a bigger impact on the world of wine than Marlborough.
The reputation of the Marlborough wine region was built on the intense, vibrant qualities of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. However, other varieties achieve exceptional results in this environment too. Bright, rich Marlborough Pinot Noir is increasingly being recognised as the red wine counterpart for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Marlborough lies at the north-eastern tip of New Zealand’s South Island. Its alluvial valleys and plains are bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east and mountains on all other sides, providing shelter that keeps this region dry, sunny and warm.
The wide Wairau Valley forms the major part of the Marlborough winegrowing region. The largest, most northerly part of the valley is home to the region’s older vineyards, producing wines that tend to display tropical fruit characters. The Southern Valleys leading off the Wairau are cooler, producing wines that typically present citrus and stone fruit characters.
The Awatere Valley lies to the south of the Wither Hills, between the Black Birch Range and Inland Kaikoura Range, with the cool water of Clifford Bay to the east. Wines produced from the Awatere Valley show even more intense fruit flavours and fresher, crisper acids than elsewhere in Marlborough.