New Zealand has a special climate and environment, unlike anywhere else in the world. Just think of their snow-capped mountain ranges, their cool ocean breezes, and their pristine, crystal clear rivers and you understand why their wines are so fresh and inviting.
When you compare how long New Zealand has been producing wine with the rest of the world, you might be surprised at how quickly their wines have received international acclaim. They have however, won numerous awards on both the national and international stages and are considered to produce some of the best wines in the world.
The three most popular wines produced by New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay – with Sauvignon Blanc far surpassing the other two wines in production and exports.
New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc wines
This is the wine that first won international acclaim for New Zealand’s wine industry in the 1980’s. Since these early beginnings, Sauvignon Blanc has become their most harvested grape and their largest export.
Typically, Sauvignon Blanc wines from the North Island have a richer and riper fruity flavour than those from the South Island, which are more vibrant and crisper. These differences in taste are due to the differing climates between the two Islands with a shorter growing season in the North, compared to the South Island.
Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with fish and seafood, lemon or garlic sauces, and a crunchy tomato salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
New Zealand’s Pinot Noir wines
Pinot Noir is a fruit driven wine with a distinctive taste imparted by New Zealand’s soils and climate. It heralds from the Burgundy region of France and is now the second most popular Kiwi wine. Vintages from the North Island are dark, fruity, sweet wines, whilst those from the South Island are more fragrant and earthy.
This is a finicky wine and it took a few years for New Zealand to bring their harvests up to the quality that Pinot Noir lovers demand. It does not do well in warm climates and so with the cooler temperatures in New Zealand, Pinot Noir now has a firm foothold in the Kiwi export market.
Pinot Noir pairs well with savoury dishes, such as game birds, pork and ham and absolutely sparkle when they are served alongside creamy, garlic wines and crisp tomato salads.
New Zealand’s Chardonnay wines
Today, Chardonnay is known as New Zealand’s second largest wine export, and is a very versatile wine, which is both elegant and fruit driven. Produced on both Islands, vintages from the North are more full-bodied and rounded, whilst those from the South Island are more light-bodied and citrusy in flavour.
Chardonnay pairs well with seafood, fish, pasta, and poultry, as well as creamy garlicy or lemon based sauces. Try a glass of Chardonnay with a dessert of perfectly poached pears and you will understand why Chardonnay is just sublime.
So this holiday season, why not explore a Sauvignon Blanc with your barbequed prawns and a crisp, crunchy salad around the pool, a Pinot Noir with your Christmas ham and a wonderful fresh Chardonnay with your turkey lunch?
Even better – check out the specials on wines from Advintage and save some money this Christmas season.