Though a bit late into the sector, the New Zealand(NZ) wine industry is growing fast and produces some of the best wines that reflect a clean environment. There are over 500 winemakers, either operating as boutiques or small scale businesses producing niche varieties.
Wine Production in New Zealand
There are close to 500 wineries in New Zealand, divided into three categories. These are:
- Type one: Produces less than 200000 litres
- Type two: Produces between 200000 litres to 4 million
- Type three: Produces more than 4 million litres
The most significant wineries in New Zealand are Villa Maria, Montana and Nobilo.
New Zealand Wine Regions
There are ten major wine-producing areas in New Zealand with Auckland, Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay, and Gisborne the leading regions in the North Island. Marlborough, Canterbury, and Central Otago are in the prominent areas in South Island.
Since the soil structure, grape varieties, and mini-climates vary in these areas, New Zealand produces a broad spectrum of wines. Some of the types produced are:
– Pinot Noir – Martinborough, Central Otago
– Sauvignon Blanc – Malborough
– Chardonnay- Gisborne
– Pinot Gris – Martinborough, Central Oregon
– Cabernet – Hawke’s Bay, Waiheke Island
Exquisite sparkling traditional wines are found in New Zealand as well.
The wine industry in New Zealand contributes more than $1.5 billion annually to the NZ economy. And the export market has been on the increase for the last 20 years recording a growth of 24% every year.
Over 16500 people work on a full-time basis in the wine industry.
There is a vast market of exceptional wine throughout the world. New Zealand’s biggest market is in Australia, followed by Uk and US, respectively.
The Canada and Asia markets are opening up fast to increase the supply.
Auckland, which founded New Zealand’s wine industry has more than 50 vineyards in various locations from the epic Waiheke Island to Auckland.
The first wine production was started in West Auckland by the Croatian community. Once NZ stated wine production, there is no going back. Dalmatian and Croatian are some forces behind the best brands in the Auckland area now, like Babich, Selaks and Villa Maria.
Comparison of the NZ Wine Industry to Other Countries
Among all wine producing countries, New Zealand ranks 18 of the largest producer. In the past decade, NZ wine has registered 13.5 %increase, while Western European is on the decline. France tops the list as the highest producer of wine.
NZ Wine Production Levels
In 2014, NZ vintage recorded a bounty harvest of 445,000 tonnes of grapes. Initially, there was a record of the highest yield of 345,000 in 2013.
Initially, such a bumper harvest flooded the wine market, creating an oversupply. Wineries in New Zealand are today better equipped to deal with the excess supply and keep wine inventory levels stable.