New Zealand wine goes from strength-to-strength in the UK. Despite being a relatively small producer (making only about one-tenth of Australian production, for example) New Zealand is now second only to France in sales to Majestic customers. All this has been achieved despite being a relatively young country for wine production. It was as recently as the 1970s that Montana became the first producer to make modern table wine in volume, including planting Sauvignon Blanc in the Marlborough region, first released in 1979.
New Zealand’s wine regions span some 1000 miles from the Northland and Auckland vineyards of North Island to the Central Otago region on South Island.
Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s big success story, especially that from the Marlborough region on South Island. Originally from France, Sauvignon Blanc is now New Zealand’s most widely planted grape variety.
New Zealand’s winemakers borrowed from the experience and expertise of the country’s significant dairy industry, introducing spotless stainless steel production facilities to wineries to help make extremely clean wines with very pure flavours.
Hawke’s Bay is the oldest wine producing region in New Zealand with the oldest existing vineyard at Mission Estate established in the 1850s.
The crisp acidity of New Zealand Sauvignon makes it a good partner for seafood, and a great match with an al fresco salad – weather permitting!