Wines of South Island (Marlborough and Central Otago), New Zealand

New Zealand Wine MapGeography & Climate

Moving further away from the equator, South Island of New Zealand enjoys significantly cooler climate, with more maritime influence.  It also experience lighter rainfall compared to the North Island.   The central mountain range creates rain shadow affect through the island.  Volcanic and gravel sandstone dominate the island, the further south the more finds more Volcanic soil and much cooler climate.

Major Varietals

White: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Riesling

Red: Pinot Noir and Syrah

Marlborough Appellation

Marlborough is the most important wine region in New Zealand, the very best Sauvignon Blanc in the world with unique flavor and unmatched personalities are cultivated here.  This very wine helped put New Zealand on the Map.  Although in the south island, Marlborough still processes drier climate with plenty of sun.  Dry heat helps ripen its beloved Sauvignon Blanc, while gentle breeze ventilates vineyards.

Crisp and elegant, the Sauvignon Blanc grape of New Zealand is considered peerless. Experts and wine lovers from all around the world have appraised it, providing it with more and more fame and attractiveness. No region of the world can match the sandy soils of Marlborough; located in the northeastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island, the area benefits from a specific maritime climate. More than two-thirds of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc is cultivated in Marlborough followed by Hawke’s Bay, which cultivates about 10%.  

Other than Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir is the second leading grape in the area, although by a long shot.  In recent years, Sparking wine made with Traditional Method is on the increase.  Within short period of time, some Marlborough bubblies are gaining up attention. 

Central Otago Appellation

Otago is the most southerly wine region in New Zealand and in the world. Lime stone and chalky soils plaque the area giving its wine pleasant mineral quality.  Although furthest south, for the most part Otago is rather cool, a more continental climate; during the growing season however, it could get hot with high dry heat.  

Pinot Noir is the star grape for this region, making up for more than two-thirds of all grape, the rest are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand 2012

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