An Introduction to New Zealand Wines

The Wines of New Zealand

Aukland, New Zealand
Aukland, New Zealand

New Zealand Wine Regions

Central Otago Vineyard
Central Otago Vineyard
Wine Trellises
Wine Trellises
New Zealand Wines
New Zealand Wines

Sauvignon Blanc grapes

Sauvignon Blanc grapes
Sauvignon Blanc grapes

 

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An Introduction to New Zealand Wine

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If you enjoy drinking and learning about wine from all over the world, here is a list of ten things that you should know about New Zealand wine:

1. According to wine production statistics for 2010, New Zealand was the 20th largest producer of wine in the world with 190 million liters.

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2. During the same period, New Zealand consumed only 92 million liters of wine leaving it with 98 million liters available for export.

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3. The per capita consumption of wine in New Zealand in 2010 was 22.1 liters which was slightly less than the 24.9 liters consumed in Australia and slightly more than the 21.8 liters consumed in the UK

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4. Prior to the 1970s, New Zealand wine production concentrated on producing sherry and port wine. As non-fortified wine production increased, producers started labeling the bottles by year of production and grape variety.

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5. In the 1990s, New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc wine was declared "the best in the world" by a British wine critic. and the New Zealand wine industry took off.

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6. Originally, almost all of the wine exported from New Zealand was destined for the United Kingdom. Currently, only about one third is with almost as much going to Australia and the United States.

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7. New Zealand wines are labeled similar to Australian and California wines with the grape variety listed first and then the region in which the grapes were grown.

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8. Although shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and other red wine grapes were initially planted, particularly in the warmer, northern wine regions, the cool region wine varieties such as pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling and in particular sauvignon blanc now dominate New Zealand wine production

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9. Being in the southern hemisphere, wine vintage ratings resemble those in Australia rather than in Europe or California

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10. There are ten official wine regions in New Zealand which are shown on the following map and which are described further in the table that follows it

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New Zealand Wine Regions

Wine Regions
Wine Regions

New Zealand Wine

Marlborough Wine Region of New Zealand

FROM CHRISTCHURCH - DIRECTIONS TO AUCKLAND

show route and directions
A markerChristchurch New Zealand -
Christchurch, New Zealand
[get directions]

B markerAuckland, New Zealand -
Auckland, New Zealand
[get directions]

NEW ZEALAND WINE REGIONS

New Zealand Wine Regions
New Zealand Wine Regions

NEW ZEALAND WINE LABELS

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How To Read A New Zealand Wine Label

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Wine labeling requirements vary depending on where the wine will be shipped. The following requirements are for exports to the European Union and to the USA. For other destinations, simply substitute 75% for 85%.

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Vintage – Optional, but must be at least 85 % if claimed. Multiple varieties can be claimed but must be at least 95 % and must be listed in descending order.

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Grape Variety – Optional, but must be at least 85 % if claimed. Multiple varieties can be claimed but they must be listed in descending order.

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Region (GI) – Optional, but must be at least 85 % if claimed. Multiple GI claims are acceptable but they must be listed in descending order.

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Brand Name – Must not be misleading

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Alcohol Content – Must not exceed 15% for Table Wines.

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