New Zealand Wine Tour Travel Guide
On a very hot summer day, relax outside and indulge in a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp, refreshing and a perfect match for grilled seafood, salads and spicy cuisine, New Zealand’s best known white wine will make you want to pack your bags and visit this pristine island paradise.
Located about 1,300 miles south and east from Australia, New Zealand’s land mass is comprised of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, along with numerous other smaller islands. Combined, they are roughly the size of the state of Colorado. Only about 4-million people live in this remote corner of the world, but make no mistake, New Zealand looms large when it comes to wine.
With more than 9,000 miles of coastline, the climate of New Zealand is strongly influenced by the sea. Many of the country’s finest vineyards are located in close proximity to the cooling breezes of the Pacific Ocean. Modern winemaking began as part of the British colonization in the mid-nineteenth century, but in the late 1970s a shining star began to emerge in the Marlborough region of the South Island in the form of Sauvignon Blanc.
Originally from France, Sauvignon Blanc grown in New Zealand takes on characteristics not found in any other winemaking region in the world. Bright fruit often reminiscent of grapefruit and lime, clean, well-balanced flavors and a high acid content are the calling cards of this classic wine. Delightful either as an aperitif or matched with food, it remains the most widely planted grape in the country.
In the last few decades, winemakers in New Zealand have seen good results with a broad variety of wines including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In warmer microclimates, Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are showing promise. Exports have risen steadily and approach nearly one-billion dollars per year. Two-thirds of all wine exports are Sauvignon Blanc.
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Perhaps what is even more striking about a wine vacation to New Zealand is how incredibly beautiful the flora and fauna are. Ready for a dazzling combination of rain forests, glaciers, active volcanoes, beaches and deep fiords all populated by rare birds and unique wildlife? No wonder New Zealand has emerged as a global leader in efforts to preserve and sustain the environment. See and taste for yourself how the winemaker’s art blends seamlessly with protecting the natural world in the unspoiled glory of New Zealand’s great outdoors.