If you’ve read my previous blogs, then you already know that I’m a wine lover and an avid traveler. Because of this, I've put together a series to share with you the best ways to choose local wines in different countries around the world. Not only will you often find pleasant surprises in wines you may have usually been hesitant to try, but you'll also have the added benefit of supporting local economies in each region.
In case you’re curious about the countries featured in this series, my previous blog highlighting local wines in France can be found here.
This time around, I’d like to discuss local wines in New Zealand. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking when I say New Zealand wines -- Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, right? There’s no denying this wine style’s popularity, it is responsible for 75% of the entire country’s wine production, in fact, but what I’m excited to share with you is that there are other fantastic, small wine regions throughout New Zealand that should not be overlooked.
Why choose smaller wine regions?
What is important to note about small wineries in New Zealand is that they tend to focus on the type of grape that is most likely to flourish in the climate of the planted region. New Zealand is continuing to expand the variety of wines produced in the country. It may not be a wine style that is as well known or popular to you, but it could yield a rewarding experience, all while supporting the local wine producers directly.
Further to this, less strain could be put on the popular Marlborough region that could otherwise be forced into overproduction and potentially cause the remaining space in the area to be planted out. Inevitably, this would result in a major strain on the New Zealand economy.
So, where can you start?
The North Island! It hosts six wine regions that produce tasty wines that aren’t often readily exported worldwide. Beyond Sauvignon Blanc, there is an eclectic range of white wine producing grapes and styles like Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Semillon found there.
If you’re looking to drink local, I’d recommend trying some of the award-winning Chardonnays of Kumeu River Wines or the wine varieties available at the Brick Bay winery, which focuses on the production of about only three to five wines a year.
Want to learn more about local wines in countries around the world? Keep an eye out for the next blog in this series featuring another popular destination!
Giles Cadman is Chairman of The Cadman Capital Group, a group of cohesive, complementary companies, operating in the international trade, retail, leisure, and investment markets. Learn more about Giles.