Boasting a temperate maritime climate and rich volcanic soil, New Zealand’s wines are characterised by piercingly crystalline flavours and bracing acidity. Marlborough, situated in the Wairau Valley on the northeastern tip of the South Island, is NZ’s flagship wine growing region with 60 percent of the country’s vineyards in this particular corner of the wine world. While Sauvignon Blanc is the trademark of the district and, in fact accounts for around 70 percent of the annual harvest, Marlborough also produces some fine Pinot Noir and exceptional Riesling. The world’s southernmost wine region, Central Otago, with its continental climate, is renowned for its Pinot Noir, while the Canterbury Plains is perhaps best known for producing some of the most burgundian of the country’s Pinots, Chardonnays and Riesling. In the north Hawke’s Bay, NZ’s second largest wine growing area, is well known for its reds and Chardonnays, while Northland’s three most popular lines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.
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