New Zealand Wine and Grape Varieties

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Merlot wine grapeNew Zealand is home to some very remarkable types of wine. It has been able to consistently produce exceptional wine which has been praised by wine critics from the world over. One of the best wines to be found in New Zealand is the exquisite Sauvignon Blanc.

A critic was once heard of describing the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc he was drinking to "hearing Glenn Gould playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations". New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay vineyards have been able to lay down an original standard for New World Sauvignon Blanc.

This is probably one of the best wines that New Zealand has to offer and it is arguably responsible for the huge increase in interest in such wines, especially in the vicinity United Kingdom. It has become so renowned that Veuve Clicquot, which is a French Champagne producer, now possesses a controlling interest in Cloudy Bay.

In the year 2006, Grove Mill Marborough Sauvignon Blanc won three awards at the International Wine Challenge in London. It is considered to be the most prestigious award for the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. This is probably one of New Zealand’s proud achievements in winemaking. Apart from this, there is continued acclaim for the different wines of Marlborough which adds to the ground work of various other companies as Cloudy Bay Vineyards and Montana.

Following closely from the early success of Sauvignon Blanc wine type, the country of New Zealand has been putting up a strong reputation with other cultivars. Examples of these are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Syrah. The beliefs of expert commentators vary on these types of wines. One example is renowned wine critic, Robert Parker in his Wines of the World. He was able to note the exceptional triumph of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc and the huge amount of interest of the public and the world in New Zealand’s wine.

However, despite this popularity, the critic only devotes a couple of pages in a very large two volume book to New Zealand. Parker belittles most of New Zealand’s red wine as ‘dreadfully vegetal’, exclaiming that it is mind-boggling that anyone could find something to admire and commend in those offerings. He does, however, make more gracious remarks about New Zealand’s Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir is one of New Zealand’s most remarkable wine varieties and it has continued to reap awards from the best critics in the world. Because of this, another critic, Jancis Robinson, says that New Zealand’s Pinot Noir is able to develop its own unique style with purer fruit flavors, deeper colors and a higher alcohol content.

It is definitely one of the wines to look out for along with New Zealand’s Burgundy which has a definitive texture, elusive complexity and capability of ageing. These wines are proof of the skill and craft of New Zealand producers in the wine making industry of the country.

Without a doubt, New Zealand wines are here to stay and impress those who enjoy exquisite Pinot Noir, Methode Traditionelle sparkling wine, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Müller-Thurgau, Viognier, Burgundy or Sauvignon Blanc.