New Zealand wine facts
2019 marks 200 years since English missionary Samuel Marsden made the first recorded vine plantings in New Zealand, in the Bay of Islands in 1819.
Marsden observed that “New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine”.
However, the unfenced vineyard was destroyed by goats.
New Zealand’s earliest recorded winemaker was the British Resident James Busby who served “a light white wine, very sparkling and delicious to taste” to French explorer Dumont d’Urville at Waitangi in 1840. Busby had first planted vines in 1833.
The first Pinot Noir vines were planted at Lansdowne in the Wairarapa region in 1883.
The early and latter origins of the New Zealand wine industry go back to the work of settlers from Croatia, France and Germany-speaking Europe.
Two international wine events are held in New Zealand: the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration held every three years in Marlborough, and Pinot Noir NZ held every four years.
New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries.
New Zealand wine exports are valued at $1.75 billion annually.
Wine is New Zealand’s 6th largest export good.
98% of New Zealand’s vineyard area is Sustainable Winegrowing NZ certified.
New Zealand has 670 wineries, up over 30 years from less than 100.
Sauvignon Blanc is New Zealand’s most widely planted variety.
Sauvignon Blanc accounts for 73% of wine production followed by Pinot Noir at 8%.
17% of the world’s Sauvignon Blanc originates from New Zealand.
500 international wine industry influencers, 600 wines, 117 wineries were represented at the 2017 Pinot Noir NZ celebration.