Canterbury, Nelson, Central Otago and of course Marlborough are the prime grape growing regions of New Zealand's outstanding South Island.
1973 was the year that changed everything for New Zealand, it was the year that the first vines were planted in Marlborough. 20 years later they had one of the most iconic brands in the World in the shape of Cloudy Bay, made by ex-pat Englishman Kevin Judd and the rest, as they say, is history.
With wine production New Zealanders had something that wasn't lamb, butter, wool or rugby to impress the world with and they embraced the new opportunity with relish. Glorious Chardonnay also appeared in a lean but rich and buttery style in Marlborough, as did fine Pinot Noir. Over in Nelson Riesling shone and further south in Canterbury Pinot Noir, Semillon and Chardonnay took hold in a big and impressive way.
The South Island isn't just about white wines. In Central Otago they have Pinot Noir that can match Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for headlines. The best have the complexity, generosity and reliability that Burgundy often fails to deliver below frighteningly high prices in the 21st century