The edge of the edge of the world: New Zealand
The homeland of Ernest Rutherford. The edge of the edge of the world. And with recent developments, now a great wine country!
New Zealand is composed of two islands: The North Island and the South Island. It’s most famous vineyard area is in Marlborough, at the top corner of the South Island. On the other hand, Central Otago is considered the southest vineyard in the world, and is known for it’s Pinot Noir’s, a product of the dry and continental climate.
The first vineyards in New Zealand were planted by British national James Bulby in 1836, in the region around Waitangi. Fortified wine and products fermented from the Müller-Thurgau grape variety dominates production, until 1973, when the first Chardonnay’s and Cabernet Sauvignon’s are introduced. (That’s how recent things started in New Zealand!)
The Kiwi Wine Revolution starts in the 1970′s and gains speed in the 80′s.
A few numbers:
The number of vineyards in 1990: 131
The number of vineyards in 2007: 543
Change in wine export (same years): %1900 (From 4 million liters to 76 million)
The transformation of New Zealand wine into a global brand happened because of the efforts of all institutions and people involved in the wine growing industry. The New Zealand Winegrowers(NZWG) is a national organization with 1000 growers and 700 wineries as members. NZWG was established in 2002 as a joint initiative of NZ Grape Growers Council and it is now representing the countries wine under the name of New Zealand Wine . This organization is responsible for the success worldwide of the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Actually, the New Zealand model can be a good reference for Turkey. Turkey are also suitable for producing all kinds of good wine, but there is one factor that is neglected: The human factor. As a country, we posses all kinds of flowers, insects and flora, but not so many open minded people in competition. This is why it seems so hard to be like New Zealand, Chile, South Africa and Argentina when it comes to wine.
One of the catalysts in the growth of New Zealand’s wine sector is that the country is located in the Southern hemisphere. This way local wine makers and French wine makers can visit each other and share ideas about the harvest. This is why the Flying Wine Makers were founded in New Zealand and Australia.
Twist and open caps started being used in 2001, and make up 2/3 of the market these days.
Grape Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Syrah
New Zealand made it’s strongest leap with three grape varieties famous for cooler climates: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. These three grapes compose %75 of total vineyard area. The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is considered by some wine writers to be the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world.
Regions: Auckland with it’s humid areas in the North, Gisborne (famous for it’s Chardonnay’s), Hawkes Bay and especially sub-region Gimblett Gravels are the most important Syrah,Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot area.
The south island has the sunniest and most famous Sauvignon Blanc city of recent times, Marlborough. Sparkling wine is also produced in this region. At the southest lies Central Otago, which is hot during the day and cold during the night. The temperature difference results in intense fruit aromas, and gives meaning to the Pinot Noir’s of the area. Riesling and Pinot Gris are also produced in the region.
Famous producers: Ata Rangi, Babisch,Bell Hill,Brancott Estate,Church Road,Clos Henri,Cloudy Bay,Corbans,Craggy Range,Destiny Bay,Deutz,Dry River,Esk Valley,Felton Road,Fromm,Greenhough,Goldwater,Hans Herzog,Hunter’s, İsabel Estate, Jackson Estate,Kumeu River,Lawson’s Dry Hills,Martinborough Vineyard,Mills Reef,Millton,Montana,Muddy Water,Neudorf,Ngatarawa,Palliser,Pegasus Bay,Pernod Ricard NZ,Sacred Hill,Seresin,Spy Walley,Te Mata,Trinity Hill,Vavasour,Vidal,Villa Maria,Vinoptima,Wither Hills.
Famous producers one can find in Turkey: Cloudy Bay, Craggy Range, Seresin, Babisch