New Zealand

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New Zealand Pavlova

New Zealand Pavlova

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The Wines of New Zealand

New Zealand is an island nation located in the south Pacific. From our North American perspective it seems like New Zealand is “right next to” Australia. And it is – just 1200 miles away!

The country consists primarily of two large islands. They’re aptly named North Island and South Island. And there are also a number of smaller islands.

The people of New Zealand are known to be friendly, outgoing, and adventurous. They’re sometimes referred to – by themselves and others – as Kiwis. The total land area of the country is 103,736 square miles. And the total population is about 3.3 million people. In fact, New Zealand has more sheep than people!

New Zealand’s wine industry is vibrant and innovative. But it’s also relatively small. To put it in perspective:

  1. New Zealand has nine wine growing regions that span the full length of the two principal islands. In 2002 these regions included a total of 31,200 acres of vineyards. That’s less than 10% of the vineyard area of the Bordeaux region of France.
  2. New Zealand accounts for just 0.2% of the international wine trade. In terms of overall wine production, New Zealand ranks in about 30th place – among countries like the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Slovenia and Azerbaijan.
  3. Agriculture plays a relatively small role in New Zealand’s overall economy. But it plays a major role in the country’s exports. And the wine industry accounts for just 1% of New Zealand’s exports.

Even so, New Zealand’s wines have already earned a valuable niche in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia. And, as you’ll see, New Zealand’s winemakers are having a strong influence on their colleagues around the world.