There are few wines more distinctive than New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc; crisp, aromatic and bright, it is a verifiable expression of its vineyards’ terroir and the cool, maritime climate of the island itself. However, producers have shown they are capable of plenty more beyond this variety creating themselves a reputation for premium-quality Chardonnay, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
Many compare New Zealand’s climate with that of Germany’s, though here, many of the best vineyards are coastally-located thereby receiving cooling sea breezes at night. The South Island is cooler than the north and therefore relies on the Southern Alps mountain range (which make up the island’s backbone) to protect the vineyards from excessive rain-bearing winds. This is especially important for regions such as Central Otago which is famed for its Pinot Noir. We list many top-quality producers from both islands, including those from Ata Rangi, Craggy Range and Felton Road.