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New Zealand wine styles at a glance


Principle wine regions

Major sub-regions

Major grape varieties

Wine styles


Awatere, Wairau, Southern Valleys
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling (from dry to ultra sweet botrytis styles), Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir Herbaceous and/or tropical Sauvignon Blanc, medium to botrytis style Rieslings, citrussy Chardonnays. Medium-bodied Pinot Noir
Canterbury Canterbury Plains, Waipara Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris Great aromatic wines and Pinot Noir
Central Otago

Bannockburn, Cromwell, Gibbston Valley
Waitaki Valley

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris
Rich, flavoursome Pinot Noirs, clean, crisp whites often with mineral undertones


Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir
Delicate Rieslings, from dry to medium to late harvest and botrytis styles

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris

Concentrated, well-flavoured Pinot Noir, various styles of Riesling and more subtle of Sauvignon Blanc
Hawke’s Bay
Gimblett Gravels Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay Bordeaux and Rhone style wines

Ormond, Patutahi

Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer (red varieties make up only about 10% of plantings here) Rich, smooth and full-flavoured Chardonnays, concentrated Gewurz and various others

Henderson, Kumeu, Huapai, Clevedon, Waiheke Island Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Gris in the west Warm flavoured wines from fairly fertile soils
Kaitaia, Bay of Island, Whangerei Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay Warmest climate for grapes in NZ