Top New Zealand Wines That Aren’t Sauvignon Blanc

New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are by far and away our best-selling wines. In fact the Waka Taua and Waverider Sauvignons alone make up 3% of our turnover.

Why is New Zealand Sauvignon so good?

New Zealand only really came onto the world wine scene in the 1970’s. Since then it’s trademark expressions of Sauvignon Blanc have taken the world by storm.

With being so young, New Zealand’s winemaking has championed modern techniques. This means that kiwi wines are often characterised by how fresh and bright they are, with a really pure fruit profile.

New Zealand’s climate is ideally placed for growing grapes for wine. Loads of sunlight and temparatures that range from cool at night to moderate in the middle of the day.

This results in the perfect grapes. High in sugar ripeness for a sweet juice ready for fermentation, while maintaining their acidity.

What else is on offer?

To start with white wine, New Zealand is similar to Australia in the popularity of it’s Chardonnay plantings. With the adoption of modern winemaking techniques, the New Zealand wine industry can champion a wide range of styles.

Pinot Gris and Riesling have also seen a rise, along with Gewurztraminer for some spectacular hidden gems. These can all range from dry to sweet but haven’t reached the heights of New Zealand Sauvignon.

As far as red wine goes, the lion’s share is Pinot Noir which has been critically acclaimed worldwide. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are often blended for new world takes on Bordeaux style reds, as well as old world style Syrahs to counteract Australia’s brazenly new world Shiraz styles.

Fancy some examples? Here’s a quick guide of wines we think you should be giving a go.

Domain Road Pinot Gris

This gem hails from the south island’s Central Otago. Unlike most vineyards in New Zealand these are planted in the foothills of mountains, rather than estuary plains.

In the Defiance Vineyard in the town of Bannockburn (not that one) this wine was born. Aromas of pears and toffee apple give way to a deeply tropical peach flavour.

Yealands Estate Gruner Veltliner

As Marlborough is New Zealand’s larges winemaking region it’s no surprise that one of our offerings come from there. This is from the Awatere Valley, the dry and windy bit.

Michael Cooper rated this wine a respectable 4.5/5 saying: “Consistently good…with rich, ripe stone-fruit and spice flavours, strong, vibrant, finely balanced and lingering.”

We often think of Gruner Veltliner as a hidden gem of the wine world, but it should definitely be more popular.

Alan McCorkindale Pinot Noir

For this wine we cast our eyes to the Wairapa Valley around Martinborough. A tiny area with a cooler climate, ideal for Pinot Noir.

The Alan McCorkindale offering embraces traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques. New world fruit meets an old world style for a symphony of balanced flavour.

Hedgerow berries and spice on the nose before a gentle, concentrated palate of ripe red fruit.

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