New Zealand

In New Zealand wine making and vine growing go back to colonial times. In 1851 New Zealand's oldest existing vineyard was established by French Roman Catholic missionaries at Mission Estate in Hawke's Bay. Due to economic, legislative and and cultural factors, wine was for many years a marginal activity in terms of economic importance. The late 1960s and early 1970s noted the rise of the "overseas experience," where young New Zealanders traveled and lived and worked overseas, predominantly in Europe. As a cultural phenomenon, the overseas experience predates the rise of New Zealand's premium wine industry.

Wine regions are mostly located in free draining alluvial valleys (Hawke's Bay,  Martinborough, Nelson, the Wairau and Awatere valleys of Marlborough, and Canterbury). The alluvial deposits are typically the local sandstone called greywacke, which makes up much of the mountainous spine of New Zealand. The wine regions of New Zealand tend to experience cool nights even in the hottest of summers. The effect of consistently cool nights is to produce fruit which is nearly always high in acidity.


Hawke's Bay is a centenarian wine producing region and is today New Zealand’ second largest wine region.

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79 % of New Zealand's wine production comes from Marlborough.

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The Marlborough wine region is split into two distinct river valleys; Wairau Valley is the heart of the growing region and derives its name from the Wairau River which flows from the mountains in the west to the ocean at Cloudy Bay

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