New Zealand winemakers have established a niche for quality fruit-driven wines which command a higher price than their New World counterparts.
Their intensely flavoured vibrant Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is now recognised almost universally as the benchmark Sauvignon of the world and their Pinot Noir is now also measured alongside some of the greatest the Old World has to offer.
This difficult grape variety is regarded as the pinnacle for New Zealand winemakers and, with plantings increasing, we will more than certainly, hearing a lot more about it. Supply can be limited and prices can be high, but UK wine drinkers are prepared to pay a premium for wines they know they can trust.
2004 The big news is that there was no frost. All the new vineyards coming into production were harvested. The challenge will be to maintain quality and pricing going forward, two areas which New Zealanders have managed with the most care over the years.
2003 A patchwork of late frosts struck both islands late in spring, significantly decreasing the eventual size of the grape harvest. However, the remainder of the growing season was benign and the grapes that were cropped typically showed great concentration and varietal characters. A small but high quality vintage.
2002 After two small harvests, 2002 saw an increase in production. Favourable weather conditions during the growing season and the long dry autumn produced a record grape crop of generally very good quality.