New Zealand has in a remarkably short time achieved wholly justified recognition as a producer of superb wines. The country is not a volume producer – total production is, for example, around one hundredth that of France or a tenth that of Chile; it has risen to the top rank only through a sustained focus on quality and a commitment to successful innovation.
This readiness to innovate is partly due to the fact that New Zealand’s wine history is relatively fresh (although the first vines in the country were planted in 1833, Marlborough was planted with the Sauvignon Blanc for which it is now famous only in the 1970s) and partly to the example of an established and highly sophisticated dairy industry. This suggested the use of stainless steel tanks and underlined the importance of temperature control and standards of hygiene which used not to be common in wine production. The result is wines that exhibit pure and intense varietal characteristics, a style now identified with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Due to its mainly maritime climate New Zealand was until recently perceived as white wine country only. It has, however, transcended this reputation with wonderful Pinot Noirs particularly from Martinborough and Central Otago that are winning the praise due to great Burgundies. Vickbar has selected two wineries from these regions because they produce exceptional wines both full of the character of Pinot Noir and expressive of their individual terroir