|New Zealand emerged as a distinctive wine growing region when the ‘New World’ winemakers first attracted attention in the 1980s. The wine style that was associated with the country initially was Sauvignon Blanc, particularly from the Marlborough area in the South Island. It was the pure and intense fruit characteristics of this wine that were remarked upon and those same qualities soon began to be noticed in other varieties planted in other New Zealand wine regions.
New Zealand’s diverse geology and climate, with a long latitudinal spread, and highly distinctive soil types, has resulted in clearly distinctive regional variations for grape growing. This diversity has led to an appreciation that New Zealand is capable of growing almost any one of the classical grape varieties somewhere within the country. The challenge of the last 30 years has been to match variety to appropriate region, climate and soil type.
The country’s larger producers have established markets throughout the world for their Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs and Cabernet Blends. Demand for cool climate Syrahs outstrips supply and the best Methode Traditionelles rival the quality of Champagne. Today there are over 600 artisan winegrowers spread from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South, producing a wide variety of world class wines in small quantities.
It is this diversity and artisan dedication to quality that makes New Zealand so appealing to lovers of fine wine. Finding the wine, meeting the winemaker, hearing the story and tasting a product made with such devotion is the ultimate thrill. The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand brings the finest of those artisan winegrowers together in one unique collection.