Explore the Best Wineries in New Zealand

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New Zealand Wine Country

No other wine nation has seen such rapid development in the past 20 years as New Zealand wine country. In 1960, only 400 hectares were planted with wines in New Zealand; today the area under vines is an impressive 40,000 hectares. The quality of Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs is recognized all over the world.

The basis for this spectacular upswing is the climate, characterized by high sun intensity and cool nights at the same time, which enables the cultivation of aroma-intensive wines. At least the cool climate with warm summers and mild winters applies to the South Island, on which viniculture has concentrated in recent years.75% of the vines planted in New Zealand wine country are white grape varieties. The trademark of the New Zealand wine scene is the Sauvignon Blanc.

Check out the list of the best wineries in New Zealand

A glance at the History of Viticulture

The first wines in New Zealand wine country appeared in 1819 when British missionaries and settlers brought the grapes from Australia. The British governor bottled New Zealand's first wine in 1835 and is therefore considered the founder of New Zealand viticulture. However, the major upswing did not come until 1970. Thus, the state promoted viticulture from the 1970s onwards to provide the winegrowers with an economic basis. The wine area has increased significantly over the past 30 years.

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 New Zealand Wine Map

New Zealand Map

New Zealand's Wine Regions

New Zealand's wine regions are spread from subtropical North down to Central Otago, which is the home to southernmost vineyards in the world. The majority of the vineyards are situated on the eastern coast of the North and South Islands. New Zealand's wine regions are further divided into sub-regions and smaller zones. The terroirs of the different wine regions or wine-producing areas are expressed in distinctive wines.

Thanks to the Sauvignon boom, Marlborough has developed into one of leading New Zealand's wine regions, with 25,000 hectares, more than 60 percent of vineyards are located here. In second place is Hawke’s Bay with around 4,000 hectares, where mainly red wine (Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah) matures. Martinborough and Central Otago are considered strongholds of Pinot Noir.

Wine Tourism in New Zealand

Hundreds of thousands of international travelers visit New Zealand's wine regions every year. The popularity of the country as a wine destination is increasing every year thanks to the enthusiasm and invocations of local winemakers from different regions of the country. You can visit boutique wineries across the country, where you will be able to savor some of the best local products paired with amazing wines.


 Discover some of the best wine tasting tours in New Zealand

The South Island

The South Island of New Zealand wine country, which in addition to its breathtaking beauty provides everything that nature has to offer, also has excellent wines. So, most of New Zealand's vineyards are on the southern island.

Malborough - The Largest Wine Region of New Zealand

Malborough wine region is not only the largest but also one of the most popular New Zealand wine regions in the world, which put the country on the international wine map. Winemakers from Malborough produce a diversity of wines, including intense Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and wines from aromatic grape varieties. Malborough is divided into three main subzones: Southern Valleys, Wairau Valley, and Awatere Valley.

Marlborough Region, New Zealand Wine Country
Marlborough region, New Zealand wine country

Visit the center of New Zealand's wine industry and experience some of the most exceptional dining scenes of the country. Malborough wine region boasts an exceptional environment with pristine coastal landscapes, vineyards, and boutique wineries, where you will be able to taste one of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world.

Find out more about Wine Tasting and Tours in Marlborough to enjoy your visit to the region.

Wairau Valley around the town of Blenheim is now the most important wine appellation in New Zealand wine country. It makes up 2/3 of the vineyard area of ​​the wine country. The grape variety Sauvignon Blanc produces extremely spicy, aromatic white wines that are unmistakable worldwide. The area is also one of the sunniest in the country. Through the opening to the sea (Cloudy bay), cool air flows into the valley at night, which keeps the acid and sugar in the grapes. Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer are also grown here.

Nelson - Small But Excellent

Nelson, which is named after the small picturesque town, is located 2 hours' drive from Marlborough on a valley floor framed by snow-capped mountains. The same grape varieties can be found here as in Marlborough, only the climate is a bit cooler.

Central Otago - The Southernmost Wine Region in the World

Central Otago is the southernmost cultivation wine-growing area in the world and the coolest of the whole New Zealand wine country. Besides, it is also the most spectacular: vines are scattered on narrow terraces on the mountain slopes and snow-covered peaks at the foot. Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay only play a secondary role here. The cool climate grape variety Pinot Noir dominates. It is used to produce wines that, along with those from Burgundy, are among the best in the world.

Vineyards In Central Otago, New Zealand Wine Country
Vineyards in Central Otago, New Zealand wine country

Discover the southernmost wine region of the world, where Pinot Noir found favorable conditions between snowcapped peaks of the Southern Alps and Beech forests.

Find out about Wine Tasting and Tours in Central Otago to enjoy your visit to the region.


The North Island

Active Volcanoes, Natural Islands, New Zealand History … and Wine


The Wairarapa vineyard in the far south of the North Island, not far from Wellington, is small but is home to some of the country's most famous wineries. Here too, the focus is on the red Pinot Noir, which is expanded into full-bodied wines.

Hawke’s Bay

The second largest growing region in New Zealand has 5000 hectares of vineyards and is around the small towns of Napier and Hastings. Hawke’s Bay is the sunniest wine-growing region and is famous for its Bordeaux blends from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. But as well Syrah is playing an increasingly important role.

Landscapes Of Hawke's Bay, New Zealand Wine Country
Landscapes of Hawke's bay, New Zealand wine country


Gisborne is considered the Chardonnay capital of New Zealand. This variety gives rise to highly aromatic wines that smell of pineapple and melon, which are fermented partly in stainless steel and partly in wooden barrels.

Auckland – New Zealand’s largest city and the birthplace of the best wines

In the 19th century, there were Croats, Lebanese, and English who brought the city's viniculture to bloom. Auckland is now not just New Zealand's largest city. The Auckland wine region with Waiheke Island produces some of New Zealand's most expensive and best wines. Waiheke Island in particular has now made a name for itself with excellent red wines.

Waiheke Island In The Auckland Region
The view on the vineyard of Waiheke Island in the Auckland region

After 40 minutes by ferry from Auckland, you enter a new world. Whether on foot, by bike, or by car, everyone will succumb to the charm of the island. Because here visitors can expect wonderful bays, beautiful nature, intact birdlife and lots of good drops of wine.

Find out about Wine Tasting & Tours in Auckland to enjoy your visit to the region.


Frequently asked questions about New Zealand wine country

Where is the wine country in New Zealand?

The majority of New Zealand's vineyards are situated on the eastern coast of the North and South Islands. The main wine regions spread from subtropical North down to Central Otago, which is the home to the southernmost vineyards in the world.

What wine is New Zealand known for?

New Zealand is best known for its exceptional Sauvignon Blancs, which are the trademark of New Zealand's winemaking. Other famous wine varieties produced in New Zealand are the Pinot Noir and Chardonney.

Where are the best wines in New Zealand?

The best and most expensive wines of New Zealand can be probably found in the Auckland region and the Waiheke Island. The best Sauvignon Blancs can be found in the Marlborough region while Central Otago's cool climate produces the best Pinot Noirs.

What is the most famous wine region in New Zealand?

Malborough wine region is not only the largest but also one of the most popular wine regions in the world. The most cultivated grape in the region is Sauvignon Blanc but there are other great grape varieties such as chardonnay, riesling and pinot noir.

How many wine regions are in New Zealand?

New Zealand boasts 10 key wine regions: Northland, Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, and Wellington/Wairarapa on the North Island, with Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury/Waipara, and Central Otago on the South Island. Renowned for its Sauvignon Blanc, especially from Marlborough, and Pinot Noir from regions like Central Otago, New Zealand also produces a variety of other wines, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Syrah. Each region contributes uniquely to the nation's rich viticultural landscape.

Does New Zealand have wineries?

Yes, New Zealand has some outstanding wineries in both the Southern and Northern islands.

Which is the largest wine producing region in New Zealand?

Marlborough is the largest wine-producing region in New Zealand. Located on the South Island, it is known for its extensive vineyards and is particularly celebrated for its production of world-class Sauvignon Blanc wines. Marlborough's favorable climate and fertile soils have solidified its reputation as a leading wine region in the country.

What is the wine capital of New Zealand?

The wine capital of New Zealand is considered to be the city of Blenheim, located in the Marlborough region. Blenheim serves as the hub for the Marlborough wine industry and is surrounded by renowned vineyards and wineries. It is home to numerous wine producers, cellar doors, and wine-related events, making it a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts in New Zealand.

What is the grand cru of New Zealand?

New Zealand does not have an official "Grand Cru" designation. Instead, the country utilizes regional-specific classifications and quality designations to highlight the unique characteristics and quality of its wines. For example, in Marlborough, wines may be recognized for being single-vineyard or from specific sub-regions, emphasizing their individuality and excellence.

What is the oldest wine region in New Zealand?

The oldest wine region in New Zealand is Northland. Wine production in Northland dates back to the early 19th century when Samuel Marsden planted grapevines in the region. While not as widely recognized as other regions, Northland holds the distinction of being the country's oldest wine region.

Map of Wineries in New Zealand

Discover the locations of wineries in New Zealand

Wine regions in New Zealand