Vines were first planted here, around the small town of Blenheim, in the north of the South Island, in the 1970s. The region has quickly grown to be New Zealand’s largest wine region, producing distinctive wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc, and more recently Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines as well as Pinot Noir and Reisling. High sunshine hours and two river valleys provide great growing conditions.
This artistic area just west of Marlborough also produces stylish wines. Grapes are grown around the Waimea Plains and in valleys between the hills. Situated in the north of the South Island, mountains to the west provide protection while the coast moderates the temperatures.
The region has two main wine areas, Waipara just north of Christchurch and the plains surrounding the city, and is the New Zealand’s fourth largest wine region. Long summers, good sunshine hours and cool conditions with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir the most planted, followed by Riesling grapes.
The world’s most southerly wine region, and New Zealand’s highest, one wine maker’s slogan is ‘wines with altitude’! The main town is Queenstown. With a continental climate and pure mountain air, Pinot Noir is the most planted grape variety.