New Zealand Dessert Wines
The New Zealand wine industry is not only very new, it is also modern in terms of the styles of wine it produces. In 1960, the country had only 1000 acres of vines, mainly around the Auckland area, largely planted with hybrids.
Today there are over 55,000 acres planted and over 550 producers. For such a small and ocean-bound country, New Zealand offers a remarkable diversity of climate which has allowed it to succeed with distinctive varietals, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir which have not been so successful in other new world regions.
Marlborough at the top of the South Island is the largest and most well known wine region (the home of Cloudy Bay), where distinctive and exemplary Sauvignon Blancs’ are produced as well as high quality Chardonnay. Today New Zealand is considered as the leading source of Pinot Noir outside Burgundy, with such regions as Martinborough and Central Otago producing wonderfully pure, intense and beautifully balanced wine. Pinot Gris, Riesling and Merlot are also enjoy wonderful success throughout much of the North and South Islands wine growing regions.