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Wine Spectator School


Class 8: Discovering the New World


new zealand

 

 
Two Small Islands, Big on Wine

New Zealand is 1,000 miles south-southeast from Australia across the Tasman Sea. The country is a pair of narrow islands, North Island and South Island, laid end to end. Together they are as long as California.

Since the country is farther south and therefore cooler than Australia, the wines are consequently less full-bodied and more crisply acidic.

The wine industry has been making high quality wines only since the 1970s, and although whites account for most of its production and its most successful bottlings, reds are improving as well.

 

 
KEY VARIETIES

Chardonnay

The best examples of this variety are fruity and ripe, with complex, classic flavors and a zing of lemony acidity.

 
Riesling

New Zealand vintners make aromatic, bone-dry Rieslings with crisp acidity...

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