New Zealand's wonderful wine

Savour a Sauvignon: New Zealand produces some incredible Sauvignon Blancs, arguably the best in the world.

You can experience these wonderful wines right at the vineyard cellars, across the Marlborough region of New Zealand (in the northeast of the South Island). And if you do visit, you get the added bonus of the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

Pour a Pinot: New Zealand pinot noir is most definitely a rising star.

Pinot noir from Martinborough and Central Otago has been winning numerous international awards in recent years (since 2009), making it one of New Zealand's most sought-after varieties. As I'm writing this (in 2010), New Zealand exports very little pinot. But they will. I promise.

Schubert Wines from Martinborough, in New Zealand's boutique Wairarapa wine region, took the International Pinot Noir Trophy at the world's biggest and most prestigious wine show, the Decanter World Wine Awards in London, September 2010.

The Schubert 2008 Pinot Noir Block B was initially awarded the Decanter Trophy for Best New Zealand Pinot Noir. It then went into the international arena where all pinot noir trophies from around the world were judged again, with Schubert receiving the best result and consequently the coveted international award.

Mull over a Merlot : If a New Zealand holiday in Hawkes Bay is on your wish list, then you'll be visiting the region which produces over half the varieties of the country's Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wines. While Merlot is a relative new-comer to New Zealand, only appearing in the mid 1980s, it is perhaps this variety more than any other which has cemented the country in many experts' opinions as being a serious player on the world wine stage.

Hawkes Bay province is on the east coast of the North Island and has one of the most diverse landscapes in New Zealand with a hilly interior region and a picturesque coast.

Pop the fizz: If you are partial to a bit of fizz, New Zealand has many sparkling varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Muenier, all with their own inimitable style.

Sparkling wines are produced in many regions of New Zealand apart from the warmer areas around Auckland. If bubbles are your passion head to either Gisborne and Hawkes Bay in the North Island for a richer, 'weightier' variety or to Marlborough in the South Island if your tastes lean a little toward lighter, more acidic bubbly.


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