As a nation of islands, our glorious country benefits from the temperature modulating effect of the sea.
The extremes of heat and cold experienced by other landlocked, continental countries mostly don’t apply.
We also enjoy long, dry autumns, which allow slow ripening – our grapes develop intensity as well as good acid structure.
This balance between fruit and acidity is one of the key signatures of New Zealand wine, and an important reason why they work so well with food.
New Zealand’s wine growing regions are found between latitudes of 34 to 47 degrees and cover a distance of 1000 miles (1600Kms) from most northern to most southern. Grapes are grown in a wide range of local climatic conditions and soil types, so highly distinctive regional flavours have emerged. The northern hemisphere equivalent would run from Bordeaux (between the latitudes of 44 and 46 degrees) down to southern Spain.
Each of New Zealand’s main wine growing regions has an individual climate and soil profile, due to the length of the country and varied typography (terrior).
Most regional vineyards are located in the rain-shadows of mountain ranges, enabling climatic and geological conditions to assist wine production. New Zealand’s vineyards are established on young soils (most are less than 10,000 years old) of silt, sand, gravel and stonier alluvial soils, deposited by flowing water across the coastal flood plains.