New Zealand Wine

The history of New Zealand wine-making dates back to the 1800s when settlers planted vines and some commercial wineries began to surface. But the industry never really took off as it did in Australia and other parts of the world at this time. When Phylloxera struck the country, as it did elsewhere, the known “cure” was to graft American root stock onto European vinifera, which repelled the louse. However, New Zealand took a more direct approach and decided instead to just source all their vines directly from America. which was costly and time-consuming. There were also very loose quality standards when it came to wine production. Sugar and water were allowed to be added to bulk out the wine. As a result, into the 20th century, most New Zealand wine was shunned in favor of Australian imports. 

There was also a form of Prohibition enacted around the same time as it was in the US, in the 1920s. While alcohol was not banned outright, there were several government measures put forth to Read more »

Mentor for New Zealand Wines

Wai Xin Chan

A wine drinker turned CSW! Author of WineXin.SG. Good wines, cheap wines. What more can I ask for?

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Popular wines made in New Zealand under $20

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Varietals Produced in New Zealand View all

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

Subregions of New Zealand

  • Central Otago

      Cental Otago, located on the tip of New Zealand’s South Island is the world’s highest and ...

  • Gisborne

    Gisborne Wine Region Wine lovers revere Gisborne as the “Chardo...

  • Hawke's Bay

    Hawke’s Bay, in New Zealand’s North Island, has the longest wine-making history in the country....

  • Marlborough

      While wines from Marlborough, in New Zealand’s South Island, have only come into prominenc...

  • Auckland

  • Nelson

      Nelson is a small, but prolific wine region located at the northern tip of New Zealand’s S...

Popular Wineries in New Zealand View all

  • Vavasour Wines Ltd

    The Vavasour family have a strong historical background. They can trace their ancestry back to...

  • Shepherds Ridge Vineyard

    The Shepherds Ridge Property The Vineyard Rarangi, in the north-eastern corner of the Waira...

  • Wild Rock Wine Company

    Wild Rock Wine Company is a producer of regionally diverse wines. Company vineyards, a combinatio...

  • Lincoln Estate

    Port Lincoln on South Australia's west coast, globally recognised for its Bluefin Tuna and array ...

  • Dog Point Vineyards

    Dog Point Vineyard combines the considerable wine-growing experience of Ivan and Margaret Sutherl...

  • Highfield Estate

    Highfield is a boutique Marlborough winery making ultra premium, food friendly wines for restaura...

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New Zealand on Snooth

  • Prophecy High Priestess Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016


    Green melon, green apple and pear aromas with a juicy peach note. Continues with a green palate of light garden herbs, lime zest and tart green melon, finishing light and quick with a hint of sea breeze and more apple. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2017


    Fresh lemongrass and grapefruit aromas with citrus notes and fresh cut grass, hints of mandarin orange and green apple as well. Peach and grapefruit on the palate, clean and light with good fruit and varietal notes of golden berries and grass. Easy drinking and well made. 89 pts Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • Lindemen - Hey there - this is Paul (rckr1951), been drinking and watching the ... ... of Australian and later New Zealand wines for a total decades (4 for Aussie).  The big shift to screw caps has happened in Aussie a few years ago now.In fact you won't find many in Australia that use corks except for (usually) higher end wine producers, thi... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Hello Snooth!

  • Wild Rock Angels Dust Syrah 2008


    cane Read More

    Wine review by cane

  • Mcbride Sisters Collection Brut Rose Marlborough


    Aromatic cherry and watermelon aromas with hints of soft cheese and strawberry juice. Popping with acidity on entry, this takes a while to settle down in the mouth, but when it does it is herbal, earthy and delivers a real sense of place, coming together on the finish with cherry and strawberry notes and a candied palate. Read More

    Wine review by Snooth Editorial

  • RC - Thanks for the New Zealand tips.EM - You are sensitive to the need for adequate acid.  I haven't tried that one so I'll take your word for it.Tonight, as were prepare our signs for the march in the district tomorrow, we tried a few wines.  The Garrison Creek Cabernet Sauvignon is our favorite, but the Barboursville Merlot isn't bad either. ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...

  • Iv'e learned to appreciate the Sauvignon Blanc's from New Zealand.  We really must vacation there someday.  That Malbec / Syrah blend sounds interesting though.  What price point?  I"m guessing $25 a bottle. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines - Post Pictures...

  • Oyster Bay Wines Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016


    Classic grapefruit in a glass which is why I buy it. Read More

    Wine review by RandyFisher

  • A couple from New Zealand:Then there's this.  The person that ordered this found out that due to a medical condition there no more drinking in her house (she's single so it's her house).  First she wanted it to save, then she didn't - all the while it sat in cellar.  Then one day she picked it up - and a week later she knocked on the door and sa... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • This is probably another waste of space on my part, but here goes just to keep ... ... and and old friend from New Zealand - The Craggy Range TE KAHU from Hawkes Bay.2015 EroicaThe 2016 Daou Paso Robles Cabby:The Daou Pessimist Red Blend.One of my Favorite CCR bottlings and this Domaine Wachau 2016 Gruner Veltline Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?

  • Try a Lime Rock Pinot Noir from limestone hills in Central Hawkes Bay, NZ. 2009 if you can find it, as Jancis put it in her 100 Red Wine list for 2012.

    Comment by 395997limerock 395997 limerock

  • On behalf of Lemongrass Productions Ltd., we would be delighted if you could join us for New Zealand's largest wine tasting event. Wine Auckland is held on Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th August 2014 at the Viaduct Event Centre, Central Auckland. We would love you to help us promote Wine Auckland. As the event is in its inaugural year it's importa...

    Comment by 1527058Snoother 1527058 1527058 Snoother 1527058

  • Hello, Mr.Wai Xin Chan, I am very happy to know you. This is Joseph In Tianjin Of China. I am a small importer of wine and also interested in New Zealand wine. I am looking for the wines produced in New Zealand which is cheaper and suitable to Chinese taste. As an expert of Oceania, Could you recommend one or two the wineyards to me ? ...

    Comment by 1174965Joseph Zhou 1174965 Joseph Zhou

  • I am trying to find stockists of Chevalier de Bayard 2007 Vin de Pays De i aude. Is there anyone out there that can help me. Live in ChCh New Zealand

    Comment by 1137287Snoother 1137287 1137287 Snoother 1137287

  • 2010 Omaka Springs Sauvignon Blanc is on the current BevMo $.05 far $15.04 for two bottles - great value!!

    Comment by 889924CindyNapa 889924 CindyNapa

  • Still trying to find a good Pinot that compares to Rabbit Ranch, one of my favourite NZ reds and relatively inexpensive. Highly recommend Mount Difficulty and Roaring Meg around the same price - but keen for some advice on the best NZ red so I can have a bottle ready for my first child being born in October :)

    Comment by 666955samdouglas 666955 samdouglas

  • For honest no BS NZ wine reviews visit

    Comment by 77525Jayson Bryant 77525 Jayson Bryant

  • Some of our favorite wineries are Forrest Estate, Sacred Hill, Gibbston Valley and Alan Scott. there cover a range of price ranges and encompass some of the more famous wine regions of NZ. I do find most NZ wines to be very similar, but those mentioned above represent some of the better examples. A good Central Otago Pinot (Gibbston Valley) or...

    Comment by 577576IntermeDx 577576 IntermeDx

  • I love Yealands Estate Winery in Marlborough NZ. Visited their cellar door, great experience and really enjoyed their wines and their sustainable vision.

    Comment by 561401Singaporegirl 561401 Singaporegirl

  • Hi Dalizard, Yes tried the '08 Pinot, it is another monster, but I think a big step up on the '07 which to me came across almost Syrah like, it was also a monster. '08 is clearly Pinot, it is huge with big Pinot fruit (i.e. Berries and plum etc) and oriental spices with a big syrupy finish. Put it in your cellar and forget about it for another 5...

    Comment by 551960Damndit 551960 Damndit

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