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New Zealand Wine

New Zealand fine wines exploded onto the palates of the world's wine-drinkers about three decades ago. This was due in no small way to its remarkable ability to produce a unique style of Sauvignon Blanc with a fabulous gooseberry fruit character and razor-like streak of acidity which is mouth-wateringly refreshing. In 2011 70% of New Zealand's wine production consisted of this grape variety and two thirds of its total production is destined for export where there is a growing demand to buy New Zealand wine.

Although the extremes of the North and South Islands lie approximately between similar latitudes as Bordeaux and the eastern mediterranean in the northern hemisphere New Zealand is considered to be a cool climate wine-producing country due to the twin influences exerted by both the Pacific Ocean and the country's topography. The west coast of both islands is exposed to heavy rain-bearing westerly winds and for this reason the drier north and east of the country are the dominant areas for vineyard plantings. Cloud cover restricts the vines' exposure to the sun but even so leaf canopy techniques were developed in the 1980s to prolong the ripening process delivering the clarity of fruit definition for which New Zealand's wines are so well-known.

vineyard area in central otago, south island, new zealand

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, made from grapes grown in the Marlborough district in the north-east of South Island, was the wine that stamped New Zealand firmly on the world-class wine map and no other country produces wines from this variety quite as clean and pure as does New Zealand. Chardonnay and Riesling also benefit from this crystal-like purity of fruit flavour and some very attractive wines are made from these varieties too. Merlot, well-suited to a cooler climate, ripens more successfully than Cabernet Sauvignon and there are some very good bottles available but the star of New Zealand red wine production is undoubtedly Pinot Noir. Martinborough in Wellington, south-east of North Island, was the original source of excellent New Zealand Pinot Noir wines, some with an almost Burgundian complexity of both perfume and palate. Recently this variety has been planted with great success in Central Otago in the South Island, an area boasting the world's most southerly fine wine vineyards. Unlike most of the country whose climate is classed as maritime that of Otago is much more typically continental in character. Summers are hot, dry and quite short with long, cold winters. Irrigation is a necessity here and the low night-time temperatures prevent over-ripening but the wines are bursting with flavour and alcohol with the a.b.v. seldom falling below 14%. The quality and appeal of New Zealand wines is such that its sporting adversary Australia is an important export market as is the U.K.

  1. Supper Club Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2013

    Supper Club Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, 2013

    2013’s excellent growing conditions resulted in a whole host of international awards and high ratings for Nick Entwistle’s Supper Club Sauvignon Blanc.

    Colour White Wine
    Grape Variety Sauvignon Blanc
    Country New Zealand

    Out of stock

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