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Wine Spectator School

Class 3: New Zealand


  • Some of world's southernmost vineyards
  • Wines less full-bodied and more crisp than Australia
  • Wine business going strong since 1970's; whites most production but reds improving
  • Reputation from Sauvignon Blanc



  • James Busby from Scotland made the first wines in 1839
  • Slow industry since colonists preferred beer and hindered by temperance
  • Retail sales of wine finally legal after WW2
  • 1960s buy wine in restaurants
  • 1990s was pivotal in New Zealand's wine industry, demand & quality rose
  • More New Zealand wines bottled under screwcap than any other country



2 Islands, 10 Regions
From north to south, New Zealand's 10 regions are:

North Island
Waikato/Bay of Plenty
Hawke's Bay
South Island
Central Otago


2004 est.
Marlborough 16,860 43%
Hawke's Bay   9,422 24%
Gisborne   4,589 12%
top 3 regions 30,871 79%
remaining 7 regions   8,242 21%
total 39,113



Two Narrow Islands

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