Tour New Zealand Vineyards

in New-zealand

Wines are a reflection of the soil and climate in which grapes are grown, and it’s no surprise that New Zealand’s clean and green vineyards produce vintages that have won respect and praise from wine connoisseurs around the world. Book cheap flights to New Zealand for some fantastic tasting experiences.

Today, people praise New Zealand’s wine regions and there are popular wine tours in the north in vineyards around Auckland, meandering south to the grape growing region in central Otago. But vineyards are a relatively new feature of the New Zealand landscape. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, grapes for wine production were grown in only a handful of vineyards in the North of the country.

But during the 1980s, New Zealand began to restructure its agricultural industry. Farmers who had traditionally raised cattle and sheep began to look at other, more profitable uses for their land. Small artisan vineyards where growers focused on the quality of their grapes, rather than the quantity, began to emerge throughout the country. In 1996, there were 238 vineyards throughout New Zealand. By 2010, the number had nearly tripled to 672.

The New Zealand Wine industry produces more than 190 million litres of wine each year, and more than half of it comes from the Marlborough region located on the north eastern tip of South Island. Many small vineyards that began growing grapes in the past 30 years have enjoyed spectacular success thanks, in part, to the rich soil of the Wairua River Valley. Marlborough vineyards have earned a reputation for producing some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc.

Hawkes Bay, on the east side of North Island, is home to some of New Zealand’s oldest vineyards, many of which have traditionally grown chardonnay grapes. Newer vineyards have taken advantage of the climate’s long window of opportunity for ripening, and have started growing red varieties such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon.

A cluster of vineyards in Gisborne, a region north of Hawkes Bay, are also major producers of chardonnay. Growers in New Zealand’s newest wine region, Canterbury, on the east coast of South Island, are building a market for their pinot noir and Riesling wines.

Some of New Zealand’s well-established vineyards have becomes suppliers to a competitive global marketplace. Growers export 140 million litres of premium wine annually, with more than 75 per cent of it going to Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. However, the majority of New Zealand vineyards are small, family-owned-and-operated businesses that produce unique or hand-crafted, quality wines targeted toward a younger generation.

Have a look flight comparison sites to find cheap fares if you’re interested in touring the critically acclaimed wine regions of New Zealand.

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Simon Clark has 40 articles online

Simon Clark is an accomplished travel writer with over five years of experience. He focuses on holiday destinations in Egypt, Turkey and other Mediterranean spots.

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Tour New Zealand Vineyards

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This article was published on 2012/03/09