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February 23 , 2011

Wines of New Zealand


Wine guides for the ultra curious, Approach Guides takes an in depth look at a wine region's grapes, appellations, and vintages to help you discover wines that meet your preferences.

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The wines of New Zealand are special, bridging the gap between the styles of the New and Old Worlds.  While high quality, super-intense versions of sauvignon blanc afforded New Zealand international recognition, the wine landscape has quickly diversified and this guide gives what you need to tap into the country’s other rising stars: world-class pinot noirs, high quality red Bordeaux blends, and some up-and-coming alternative white varieties (gewürztraminer, riesling, and pinot gris). This Approach Guide is designed as a quick-reference resource for wine enthusiasts seeking to understand what makes these wines unique and make informed choices.

What’s in this guidebook

* Grape varieties. We describe the primary red and white grape varieties. For each grape, we touch on its unique character in New Zealand and the areas in which it reaches its highest expression. 

* Vintage ratings. Our straightforward vintage ratings table affords high-level insight into the best and most challenging years for wine production in New Zealand.

* A region-by-region review. Our detailed profiles of New Zealand’s wine-producing regions — Auckland), Canterbury, Central Otago, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, the famed Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Waikato-Bay of Plenty, Wairarapa, and the Waitaki Valley — reveal the prevailing terroir, the types of wine produced, and what makes them distinctive.

* Recommendations. To help in your selection process, we have marked our favorite grape varieties and regions with asterisks (*) — look for this indication as a sign of quality, consistency and good value.

* A distinctive approach. This guidebook’s approach is unique: rather than tell you what specific bottle of wine to order by providing individual bottle reviews, it gives you the information you require to make informed wine choices on any list.

* Information the way you like it. As with all of our guides, this book is optimized for intuitive, quick navigation; information is organized into bullet points to make absorption easy; trademark features of grapes and denominations are front and center.


One of the benefits of Approach Guides is that we can easily update content and release new editions of our guidebooks. These updates are FREE for existing customers. Please visit for a list of recently updated guides and instructions on downloading the new version.


Compulsive (and compulsively informed) travelers, the Raezers are the masterminds behind the downloadable Approach Guides, which are filled with a university course-worth of history and insights for 62 destinations worldwide. WHY WE LOVE IT: The Raezers share our desire for deep, well-researched information on the wonders of the world.

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