News report | | 05-08-2022 | ±4 minutes reading time

It is hard to imagine that New Zealand is responsible for less than one per cent of the worldʼs wine. The country is widely represented on international wine lists and is certainly not inferior to the larger players on the market. In this article, you can read more about which wine regions are worth visiting and how you can apply for a NZeTA before your trip.

Marlborough

Marlborough is located in the far north-east of New Zealandʼs South Island, and is perhaps one of the best-known New Zealand wine regions in the international wine market. This wine region is primarily known for its production of Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, Marlborough is responsible for more than 77% of all wine production in New Zealand. The grape varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are cultivated throughout the region as well.

The Marlborough vineyards are situated in a valley, sheltered to the north and south by the mountain ranges of the New Zealand Alps. The lower valleys in the heart of the region offer the ideal soil composition and temperate climate to produce consistent and concentrated red and white wines. This makes Marlborough one of the most geographically diverse wine regions in New Zealand. As a result, winemakers have the opportunity to harvest grapes and produce wine that, in terms of aroma and flavour, is completely unique to New Zealand.

Hawkeʼs Bay

Hawkeʼs Bay is centrally located on the east coast of the North Island and is the second largest and the oldest wine producing region in New Zealand. Due to its location, the area offers a climate and soil that are favourable for the production of a larger number of grape varieties. Since this area has a similar climate to France, it means that Bordeaux-style grapes can thrive here. Thus, besides Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot Gris, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are also cultivated here.

On a small scale, this wine region is also discovering the potential of the more aromatic grape varieties such as Viognier and Spanish varieties such as Tempranillo. Due to the fertile soil and the sunny climate, this area is also known for the production of quality fruit.

Nelson

This wine region is located near Marlborough, on the northernmost tip of the South Island. The wine production in Nelson can be divided into two different regional geographical areas. On both the rolling hills and the sheltered lowlands, a variety of New Zealand wines are produced. The main grape variety cultivated here is Sauvignon Blanc, followed by Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. To a lesser extent, aromatic grape varieties such as Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürtstraminer are also grown here.

Waikato

The wine regions of Waikato and the Bay of Plenty are centrally located on New Zealandʼs North Island. Although Waikato is a relatively small wine region, the quality of its wine is starting to gain recognition and its plantings are increasing every year. Wines produced here include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

However, the region is not only known for wine production. Waikato is also home to The Shire, also known as Hobbiton, one of the many filming locations of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Fans of these films and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien definitely ought not to miss it. A visit to this film location can be combined with a visit to one of the many vineyards in the area.

Wairarapa

Wairarapa is located just a short distance from New Zealandʼs capital, Wellington. The area exudes a picturesque and nautical atmosphere and consists of three sub-areas: Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton. The word Wairarapa comes from the Maori language, meaning “shimmering waters”.

This wine region comprises only 3% of all vineyards in New Zealand. Nevertheless, the climate and soil composition are the ideal basis for grape varieties such as Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc. Moreover, many dessert wines of top quality are produced here.

Wine tasting with an NZeTA

Are you a real wine connoisseur and want to discover what the different wine regions have in store for you? Then you will need to apply for an NZeTA. The New Zealand visa costs € 59,95 and is valid for two years from the date of issue. Within these two years, the visa allows you to travel to New Zealand an unlimited number of times. Each individual trip may last up to three months. Within these three months, you have plenty of time to travel through New Zealand, visit the different wine regions and enjoy the different wines that New Zealand has to offer.