New Zealand Winegrowing
New Zealand is a land like no other and our wine is a reflection of our unique climate and commitment to sustainable wine production. Our unique combination of soil, climate and water, our innovative pioneering spirit and our commitment to quality, all come together to deliver pure, intense and diverse wines brimming with flavour.
Within a relatively short time, New Zealand wines have acquired a reputation that is the envy of much larger wine producing countries. International critics rate New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as the world’s best, and the growing acclaim for New Zealand Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Riesling is helping to further secure New Zealand’s position as a producer of premium wines.
New Zealand’s wine growing regions are found between latitudes of 34 – 47° and cover a distance of 1,600 kms (1,000 miles) from the most northern to most southern vineyards. Grapes are grown in a wide range of local climatic conditions and soil types, so highly distinctive regional flavours have emerged.
As a nation of islands, New Zealand benefits from our maritime climate with cooling sea breezes. New Zealand also enjoys long, dry autumns, which allow slow ripening – our grapes develop intensity as well as good acid structure. This balance between fruit and acidity is one of the key differentiators of New Zealand wine, and an important reason for why they work so well with food.
Despite its relative youth, Marlborough is recognised as one of the premium wine regions of the world. World renowned for its intense Sauvignon Blanc’s and bright, rich Pinot Noir, Marlborough is rapidly gaining an international reputation for producing world class Pinot Gris, Riesling and more recently Gruner Veltliner.
Located at the north eastern corner of New Zealand's South Island, Marlborough’s winegrowing region is bounded by the Pacific Ocean in the east and towering mountain ranges in the north and south. A broad alluvial plain stretches from the coastline, gradually rising into narrow valleys with favourable northerly aspects.
The Marlborough wine region is defined by three sub-regions; Wairau Valley, Southern Valley and the Awatere Valley. Despite the relative proximity of each of these sub-regions, significant differences in style and flavor exist allowing wine drinkers to explore the full range of fruit flavours and styles.
The Wairau sub-region is Marlborough’s first and most northerly planted vineyards. Located primarily on river beds, the soils have a high composition of river stones which reflect light and heat into the canopy, resulting in their distinctive tropical fruit characteristics. Located to the South of the Wairau plains is the Southern Valley. The soils are typically higher in silt, gravel and clays, and air descending from nearby ranges, results in a cooler, later ripening climate. Flavour profiles typically reflect citrus and stonefruit characters.
Yealands Estate is located in Awatere Valley, the southernmost, coolest and driest of Marlborough’s growing regions. Its proximity to the coastline and strong offshore winds impart a distinctive mineral and fresh herb character.
Whilst geographically diverse, Marlborough's maritime climate, long cool growing season, and young fertile soils promote intense varietal characters, fresh natural acidity and succulent ripe fruit flavours that the world has quickly embraced.