New Zealand, Nelson

The New Zealand wine industry is one of the younger wine regions in the world, whose popularity grew immensely when Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc hit the world wine scene, quite unique in style when compared to the typical French Sancerre.

Wine is successfully cultivated on both the North and South islands from a latitude of 36 degrees in the North to 45 degrees for the most southerly wine region in the world, the south Island's Central Otago. The majority of regions are located in free-draining alluvial valleys except for Waiheke Island and Kawarau Gorge in Central Otago and benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate as no vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean. With plentiful sunshine hours and cool evening sea breezes, the grapes thrive.

Sauvignon Blanc is the major white variety people will think of when you mention New Zealand Whites, however fantastic Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and less commonly Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Pinot Blanc. Pinot Noir is the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand although Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (Bordeaux Blends), Syrah are also grown and in even smaller amounts, Tempranillo and Montepulcianos can too be found. Sparkling wines of very high standards are also made in New Zealand.

The key wine regions in New Zealand include Auckland, Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Marlborough and Nelson.
Nelson is nestled on the top end of the South Island, two hours to the west of its famous neighbour Marlborough. The wineries are mostly located on the plains, southwest of the town of Nelson, and up on the hills of Upper Moutere.

The region receives a lot more rain than its neighbour Marlborough, however also receives enough sunshine to balance out the rainfall. Nelson’s northern exposure gives it more second highest total hours of sunshine in the whole country. The soil structure tends to clay loams over hard clay subsoils.

Heavier reds like Cabernet Sauvignon don’t do so well in Nelson, where lighter reds like Pinot Noir and even Montepulciano have had more success. In the whites, Chardonnay of very high quality is being produced, with lesser amounts of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chenin Blanc are also cultivated.

Although it is one of the smaller wine regions, the fact that you can visit most of the wineries in a single day is a bonus!
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  1. Mammoth Untouched Pinot Noir 2015
    The first release of Untouched, a wine that has had no intervention except picking, pressing and bottling. Left to become wine with no additions. A vibrant nose with aromas of cherries, earth and florals. The nose transfers to the palate ... Learn More
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