Amazing rugby, the Maori, long white clouds, snow topped mountains, rivalry with the Aussies and Sauvignon Blanc that has captured the hearts and minds of a generation of English-speaking wine drinkers.
To many, New Zealand, and Marlborough in particular is the only wine-producing region to take on the establishment and win - hands down, no debate, no-re-count and certainly no re-match! Their gooseberry and asparagus infused fruit-driven Sauvignon Blanc is now considered both a world original and the reference point for this popular variety.
But New Zealand is not a one trick pony. Their Chardonnay, forever in the shadow of the Sauvignon is, without doubt, world class and regions like Central Otago and Marlborough make Pinot Noir that only Burgundy and Oregon can surpass. Varieties that typically enjoy a warmer climate such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and even Syrah are learning to thrive, most noticeably in North Island's Hawkes Bay area. In addition New Zealands sparkling wines are an outstanding alternative to Champagne.