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Wineries , New Zealand Overview

New Zealand is known for the variety of high-quality wine being produced in their vineyards. These vineyards are famously known for not adopting the conventional model of growing grapes on a private estate and then manufacturing them into wine with their own equipment. Rather, the contract growing of fruits is for the winemakers who then convert it into liquor at a central facility. The New Zealand wine industry is known to be one of the youngest in the markets currently, they have a holding of less than 1% in production amongst the world’s wine.

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Types of Wines

Sauvignon Blanc is the most well-known winestyle coming from the fields of New Zealand. It was first grown and produced in Marlborough in 1979 and is at the moment the most produced wine in the country. Chardonnay is also highly popular in New Zealand for the wide range of wines that can be produced with this style. The 1990s saw an increase in the production of internationally popular Chardonnay in New Zealand, which now produces it in almost every region. Pinot Gris, known for its exquisite taste, had first entered the New Zealand market in the 1990s and is currently the third most produced white wine variety in the country. 

The fourth most popular white winestyle Riesling is popularly known to be paired with Asian cuisine, and was first grown in the 1800s but saw a rise in production in the 1980s, still continuing to be one of the local favorites. Gewürztraminer is another variety found in the country, which is known for its highly fragrant elements and unique taste. Other winestyles like Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sparkling wine, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon blends are also varieties that play a huge role in the New Zealand wine industry. 

Temperature-Wise Assortments

The temperate maritime climate allows the range of wine produced in the country to be wider than that of most other places. The most popular wine from New Zealand, which put the country’s wine industry in the global spotlight, is Sauvignon Blanc. Wines like Cabernet blends and Syrah are found in the warmer regions of the country lying toward the north such as in Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, etc. while wines like Pinot Noir, Riesling are produced in the cooler regions down south, such as in Marlborough, Canterbury, Wairarapa, etc. 

Brancott Estate

The Brancott Estate vineyard is known for being the iconic site where the famous Sauvignon Blanc wine was first grown and produced. It is located on 180 Brancott Road, Fairhall in Marlborough, and offers various tours for the visitors: 

  • Mastery of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc: The tour includes an informative talk on the first vines that were grown for the production of the popular winestyle in 1975 along with tutored tasting for the visitors. Each tour session is for 45 minutes and takes place at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. every day, for two people at a time at a cost of $18 per person. Groups can be accommodated on prior booking. 
  • Living Land Falcon Encounter: The tour includes a tutored tasting of the Brancott Estate Living Land Series wines along with seeing the endangered native New Zealand falcon up close. The tour lasts for an hour and takes place at 11:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from the months of December to March only with prior booking at a cost of $40 per adult. 

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  • Premium Wine Tasting: The tour involves the tasting of various wine series with a private expert to guide the visitors. The Six Letter Series and the wines available at the cellar door are offered to the customers. Each session lasts for half an hour with groups of around ten people allowed at one time without bookings, and the cost ranges from $6 to $15 per person.
  • Vineyard Cycle Tour: A guide takes the visitors on a cycle tour of the vineyard right from the cellar door and restaurant, with informative talks on the viticulture process followed by tasting of premium Brancott Estate wines. Each tour lasts for 75 minutes, at 10:30 a.m. from September to March with prior bookings at a rate of $35 per person.
  • Helicopter Flight and Educational Wine Tasting: The one-hour long tour includes wine tasting in a helicopter overlooking the original vineyard where the first set of Sauvignon Blanc was produced followed by a scenic informative session over the Marlborough wine country. The tour can only be accessed by prior bookings and not more than six people are allowed at one time, at a cost of $265 per person.

Te Mata Estate

The Te Mata Estate has been around since 1896 and is known for its signature wines like Coleraine, Awatea, Bullnose, Elston, Cape Crest, Syrah, etc. Located on 349 Te Mata Road, Havelock North in Hawke’s Bay, the estate remains open every day of the summer, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays. The working hours during the winter months, May to October, are from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays and appointments are required for Mondays and Tuesdays. Tours and private tastings can be arranged by prior bookings, which need a full day’s notice. The estate remains closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. 

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