The wines of New Zealand
by Rebecca Gibb MW
New Zealand wines have really taken off over the last thirty years, with both UK and US drinkers falling particularly hard for the Marlborough region’s idiosyncratic Sauvignon Blancs. But there is far more to New Zealand’s wines than the aromatic, zingy whites produced at the northern tip of its South Island.
In this new book Master of Wine Rebecca Gibb takes us on a viticultural journey through Aotearoa (the ‘land of the long white cloud’) and opens our eyes to the huge variety of wines created in the two islands that make up the world’s southernmost wine-producing land.
The introduction covers the history of wine making in New Zealand and features a discussion of the cultural and vinous differences between New Zealand and the rest of the world as well as an analysis of the evolution of the country’s wine industry. Gibb goes on to provide detailed chapters on the geography and climate of the country, the cultivation of the grapes and wine production methods.
The bulk of the book is divided into two sections, with chapters covering the major wine growing regions and their most prominent and interesting producers. The author first approaches the warmer North Island, with its riper and richer wine styles, and includes separate chapters on Auckland and Northland, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay and Martinborough/Wairarapa. The section on the cooler South Island, where wines – including those Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs – are more pungent and crisper, is divided into chapters on Central Otago, Marlborough, Nelson, North Canterbury and Waitaki.
For those interested in paying a visit to New Zealand there is a chapter on wine tourism. The book concludes with an assessment of the challenges facing the Aotearoa wine industry and the opportunities available to its producers. This expert and accessible guide to one of the brightest, newest stars of the wine industry is a must-have guide for wine scholars and enthusiasts alike.