When people think of wine countries they often think of countries like France, USA, or even Australia. But did you know that ion 2008 New Zealand’s wine export were worth $797.8 million? New Zealand’s wine industry has persevered through a lot to now have won some prestigious industry awards. To best understand how they got to this level we must first understand their regions, climate and history. The first know to be planted “vinifera vines were planted in 1819 by Samuel Marsden.” [ (Henderson and Rex 388) ] It was the “famous Australian James Busby that made New Zealand’s first wine.” [ (Henderson and Rex 388) ] Even After growers started importing Native American grape varieties; it was their lack of true winegrowing that made them use these first grapes to produce wine, instead of them using them as rootstock. It would be these actions along with poor vine and cellar practices that would cause them to produce worthless quality wine. Along with them struggling with inadequate vineyard and winemaking practices. New Zealand also had tariffs and legal restriction that inhibited growth. Even though New Zealand’s “prohibition was defeated in 1919” [ (Henderson and Rex 388) ].
New Zealand had numerous laws that were designed to stop consumers from drinking wine and other spirits. Wine could not be sold by the bottle in shops until 1955, restaurants could not sell wine until 1960, and supermarkets could not sell wine until 1960. Most of the little bit of wine that they did consume during these times were mostly from Australia. It wouldn’t be till the 19670s that they started to put more emphasis on their quality. Vineyards were planted with superior-tasting classic vinifera wine grapes, and winemakers improved their techniques as well. “The New Zealand Wine Institution was formed in 19675 to promote the industry.” [ (Henderson and Rex 389) ] The Government also acted to help improve the quality of wine rather than try to control its sale. “In 1982, regulations were passed that limited the amount of water.” [ (Henderson and Rex 389) ]
From 1973 to 1983, wine production grew more than 350 percent, and a healthy export market developed. New Zealand’s dramatic landscape combines with the perfect climate to produce highly distinctive, premium quality wines. “Vines are warmed by strong, clear sunlight during the day and cooled by sea breeze at night.” [ (New Zealand Wine Pure Discovery) ] The long slow ripening periods help to retain the vibrant varietal flavors that make New Zealand wine so distinctive. There are ten main wine producing regions in New Zealand. Its most northern regions: “Auckland, Canterbury, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Waikato, and Waipara” [ (New Zealand Wine Pure Discovery) ] produce mostly Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. While it’s southern regions: “Canterbury, Central Orago, and Nelson” [ (New Zealand Wine Pure Discovery) ] produce mainly Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Riesling.