Zealand, notably from Hawke’s Bay, many growers and winemakers in Martinborough and Marlborough (and some even in parts of Auckland) have pulled out these varieties after failing to ripen them regularly.
At the very least, however, each of the new regions and localities of New Zealand is different, so that distinctive and interesting wines can be grown there. Overwhelming empirical evidence now exists, for instance, that wine made from Sauvignon Blanc grown in Marlborough achieves distinctive, zesty flavours. Its appeal on international markets saw Sauvignon Blanc provide almost half of the value of all New Zealand’s export wines in 2000 and grow to three quarters by 2010. When wine writers and publicity blurbs from California, or South Africa, or even better, Australia, have begun describing their own Sauvignons as ‘New Zealand’ in style, a reputation has been made.
Map Of New Zealand Regions Photo Gallery
Some of the special characteristics of these and other wines derive from the soil where the grapes are grown. As with climates, the regional sequence of soils that the New Zealand vineyard has progressively occupied is revealing. But it is unwise to consider soils as if they were separate from the enveloping atmospheric environment when analysing these interactions. The vine harnesses its total environment to realise distinctive flavours and qualities in its ripe fruit.
Above all, this revolution in New Zealand winegrowing is one of people and their enterprises: the Dalmatians with their knowledge of wine but experience from a
The harvest at Villa Maria, Hawke’s Bay. Hawke’s Bay Wine quite different natural environment; the Anglo-Celts and their beer; the Scottish Presbyterians and their fear of the grape; the young New Zealand winemakers with their overseas experience and advanced technical knowledge and education. A nascent family tradition of winemaking and viticulture has been established as the second and third generation of Croatian, Lebanese and other New Zealand families remain in the industry alongside new investors and entrepreneurs who bring their own capital and experience from other places.
The story of New Zealand wine cannot be understood without tracing the evolution of representative enterprises in each region and their relationships with the places where they operate. Each of the enterprises has its own geography because the growing of grapes, their transformation into wine, and its bottling, packaging and distribution are often dispersed. This is most obviously the case for the large corporate firms such as Pernod Ricard (the former Montana and Corbans), Nobilo (now owned by Constellation Brands) and Villa Maria that are multi-regional in all of their operations. But it also applies to many of the smallest family firms, often located in one region, many of whom distribute to national and international markets for their survival and prosperity.
From the beginning, two main forms of enterprise – family operations and larger, often corporate, firms – have existed side by side in New Zealand’s winegrowing.