New Zealand's long growing season and cool maritime climate make ideal conditions for grape growing, producing some distinctive, premium-quality wines.
As a result of grapes being grown in such a range of mini-climates and soil types, a diverse range of styles has developed.
Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s most commonly planted grape, accounting for more than two-thirds of all New Zealand wine.
According to Bob Campbell MW (Master of Wine), New Zealand has built a reputation for producing the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc. Its unique style is more pungently fruity than any other wine from the grape variety.
Chardonnay is New Zealand’s most widely grown variety, thriving in all of the major wine-growing regions. Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Marlborough are particularly well known for their Chardonnay, although each region produces its own distinct style, ranging from Gisborne's softer Chardonnay through to the more concentrated wine from Hawke's Bay.
New Zealand Pinot Noir also has a strong international reputation and is the country’s second-most exported wine after Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir is one of New Zealand's most exciting wine styles and many defines it as very fruity, tending to be softer and more approachable than the wines of the benchmark Burgundy.