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Although vines have been planted in New Zealand for the best part of 200 years it is only in the last 30 or so that quality wine has been produced. In that time the country has become famous for producing what must rate as some of the world's finest Sauvignon Blanc, and a vast choice of wine styles are available from powerful reds to intensely sweet dessert stickies.
It was James Busby who first planted vines in New Zealand in the Bay of Islands. This Scotsman is often referred to as the 'father of Australian viticulture' such was his expertise with vines after studying the art of wine making in France. French missionaries planted more vines, partly as a result of the need for sacramental wine, and gradually the trend spread around the country. It was in fact Croatian settlers around West Auckland who were responsible for larger scale planting of vines around 1890, and they continued to make wine well into the 1930s. Their importance in the industry's development should be noted.
The problems caused by oidium in the late 1800s (also known as 'powdery mildew') and phylloxera, plus the that fact that many wine consumers drank 'old world' wines, prevented expansion to any great extent. It should also be noted that the preferred drink for the masses was, and still is, beer. Strict licensing laws didn't help matters as the prohibition movement gathered momentum in the late years of the nineteenth century. At its peak alcohol was very nearly banned altogether during the First World War - prohibition was actually voted in but was fortunately overturned by the votes of returning servicemen! The downside is that the prohibition laws sent a great many wine producers out of business. A few continued and the period between the wars saw a slow increase in wine production as new vineyards were planted. Many vines were American hybrids which was New Zealand's preferred solution to the Phylloxera blight (as opposed to most other viticulturists choice of grafting European vines onto American rootstocks), as they were resistant to the troublesome root louse. As recently as 1960 the American Isabella vine was the most widely planted grape variety.
When import restrictions were lifted in the late 1940s the New Zealand wine industry suffered as a result of decent Australian wines flooding the country. The harsh wine laws continued to determine exactly how wine was distributed; until 1948, when single bottle sales were permitted, wine had to be sold through hotels and only in somewhat large quantities. Restaurant licences were granted in 1960, BYO was permitted from 1976, and gradually the number of outlets selling wine increased. Overseas investment came in the form of Australia's McWilliams and Penfolds who both set up operations in New Zealand. When government legislation designed to push the country's wine industry into the modern age was implemented in the mid 1980s New Zealand emerged as the quality producer we now know. This involved the uprooting and replanting of a quarter of the country's vineyards - Hawke's Bay and Gisborne were much improved as inferior varieties such as Muller-Thurgau were replaced. More attention was paid to what went into the bottle and quality rosé considerably to combat the imported Australian which had become very popular. Domestic producers looked overseas for a new market; one of the most positive results of the new found quality was on the export side which from just over $1m to over $18m between 1983 to 1990, mainly due to the new wave of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. By 1997 it was up to a staggering $75m with a large proportion of exported wine heading for the UK. More new laws were passed which allowed supermarkets to sell wine and before the end of the century grocery and other similar outlets were responsible for over 40% of domestic wine sales.

The scale of development is an outstanding success story and several New Zealand wineries are household names for many of us. It may be comparatively recently that the wines of New Zealand are showing their true potential (despite the somewhat ignorant words on Kiwi reds by Robert Parker!), but with exports rising and respect growing all the time who knows what the Kiwis can achieve in the new century?

Search Results

White Wine
MoKoBLACK SAUVIGNON BLANC, Marlborough 2015
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc

Zesty citrus with white stone fruits. Hints of gooseberry rolling into a full layered palate finishing with a lovely balance of texture, weight and clean refreshing finish.

Shop Price: £9.49
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Escarpment HINEMOA Riseling 1/2 btl 2011
New Zealand

A very sweet style (120g/L sugar) has been created from individual bunch selected grapes. They were carefully skin contacted for 24 hours then gently pressed to yield the precious high sugar must. Using the German classification this wine would be Beerenauslese quality. An ideal match with fruit based desserts, soft cheeses or enjoy as an aperitif for something to liven up your taste buds.

Shop Price: £10.49
37.5CL
Out of stock
White Wine
Escarpment THE EDGE Pinot Gris 2015
New Zealand

100% Martinborough Pinot Gris, grown on the alluvial gravel terraces for which the district has become famous. The season was exceptionally warm allowing high quality fruit to be harvested early with brilliant perfumed fruit flavours. The style is off dry (7gms residual sugar) with a soft ripe backbone and long lingering finish. The wine shows the pear/white stone fruit flavours this variety is renowned for.

Shop Price: £11.49
75.0CL
Only 10 left
White Wine
Escarpment RIESLING 2011
New Zealand

Rich, concentrated and quite weighty Riesling in an off-dry style. Quite an individual wine, at least in the textural sense, that makes good use of fine tannins and with acidity to balance the wine's slight sweetness. A Riesling that gives a nod in the direction of Alsace.

Shop Price: £11.85
75.0CL
Only 3 left
White Wine
Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2014
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio/Rulander
Sweetness: 3 - Soft Dry
Drink now, but will keep

A medium to full bodied alternative to Chardonnay!

Shop Price: £12.49
75.0CL
Out of stock
White Wine
Escarpment PINOT GRIS MARTINBOROUGH 2011
New Zealand :: Martinborough
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio/Rulander
Sweetness: 3 - Soft Dry
Drink now, but will keep

Powerful opulent fruit combine beautifully with barrel fermentation in this dry Burgundian inspired Pinot Gris. Flavours are reminiscent of ripe pears and white stone fruit with a delightful soft texture, ensuring a long commanding finish.

Shop Price: £12.95
75.0CL
Out of stock
White Wine
Waipara West RIESLING WAIPARA 2011
New Zealand :: Canterbury
Riesling
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Drink now, but will keep

The wine displays floral and lime aromas on the nose. The palate is full and rounded with an oily texture and a persistent dry finish. A youthful Riesling that will continue to evolve with careful cellaring.

Shop Price: £12.99
75.0CL
Out of stock
White Wine
Alpha Domus UNOAKED CHARDONNAY HAWKS BAY 2013
New Zealand :: Hawke's Bay
Chardonnay
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Drink now, but will keep

A classically New World tropical fruit orientated Chardonnay, with no oak used.

Shop Price: £13.75
75.0CL
Only 4 left
White Wine
Waipara West SAUVIGNON 2013
New Zealand :: Wairapa
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Ready to drink

A classically styled New Zealand sauvignon; asparagus and new mown grass on the nose, full and rich with citrus and lime in the mouth, and a long balanced finish.

Shop Price: £13.99
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2016
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Ready to drink

Complete with 'Stelvin closure' (that's screw cap to the rest of us!) comes this fruit-laden New World Sancerre!

Shop Price: £13.99
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
TINPOT HUT Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 2015
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Ready to drink

A complex and elegant wine with intense aromas of blackcurrant, crushed lemongrass and thyme, mingle with passionfruit and melon highlights. On the palate, underlying ripe fruit and mineral notes from the grapes grown in the Blind River sub region of Marlborough combine well with the more tropical notes of passionfruit and melon from the Wairau Valley vineyards. A stylish and pleasingly rich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with vibrant aromatics and a fine balance of acidity leading to a lingering finish.

Shop Price: £13.99
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Alpha Domus Sauvignon Blanc 2013
New Zealand :: Hawke's Bay
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Ready to drink

Crisp and fruity with a penetrating finish.

Shop Price: £14.49
75.0CL
Only 3 left
White Wine
Saint Clair SAUVIGNON BLANC 2015
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 1 - Very Dry
Ready to drink

This wine has a full yet elegant palate with subtle minerality.

Shop Price: £14.99
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Isabel Sauvignon Blanc 2015
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 2 - Dry
Drink now, but will keep

Beautifully elegant Sauvignon made in a less gushy style.

Shop Price: £15.79
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Kim Crawford SPITFIRE MKII SAUVIGNON MA 2015
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 1 - Very Dry
Ready to drink

This wine from a small parcel is full of tropical fruit and zingy acidity.There are explosive aromas of tropical fruit, melons and passionfruit with a hint of herbaceousness. This follows through on the palate, which is rich and full and a mixture of sweet fruit and zingy acidity. The wine finishes well and has great length.

Shop Price: £16.49
75.0CL
Only 8 left
White Wine
Alpha Domas VIOGNIER HAWKES BAY 2012
New Zealand :: Hawke's Bay
Viognier
Sweetness: 3 - Soft Dry
Drink now, but will keep

Classically aromatic and with a firm peach/apricot character this is super stuff with a clean finish and persistent flavour.

Shop Price: £16.49
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
Alpha Domus Aplha Domus NAVIGATOR Cabernet Blend Haw 2011
New Zealand :: Hawke's Bay
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot
Body: d - Medium to Full
Shop Price: £17.49
75.0CL
Only 7 left
White Wine
Trinity Hill Dog Point SAUVIGNON BLANC MARLBOROUGH 2015
New Zealand :: Hawke's Bay
Sauvignon Blanc
Ready to drink

Absolutely vibrant stuff. A core of passion fruit, gooseberry and melon and a lively, zippy finish.

Shop Price: £17.49
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
Waipara West RAM PADDOCK 2014
New Zealand :: Wairapa
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Drink now, but will keep

Amazing value Bordeaux blend from New Zealand

Shop Price: £17.75
75.0CL
In Stock
Red Wine
Alpha Domus SYRAH Hawkes Bay 2012
New Zealand :: Hawke's Bay
Syrah/Shiraz
Body: d - Medium to Full

A fruit-driven Syrah with aromas of liquorice, black pepper, plum and floral notes.

Shop Price: £18.49
75.0CL
Only 1 left
White Wine
Greywacke SAUVIGNON BLANC Marlborough 2016
New Zealand :: Marlborough :: Wairau Valley
Sauvignon Blanc
Sweetness: 2 - Dry

‘Like opening a bag of tree-ripened nectarines’ (Kevin Judd) Deliciously aromatic with a spicy twist and a zesty grapefruit hint. The palate is succulent and tangy – long and concentrated, finishing with a hint of flinty minerality.

Shop Price: £18.79
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Isabel Chardonnay 2013
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Chardonnay
Sweetness: 3 - Soft Dry
Drink now, but will keep

Tightly structured flavours, fairly pronounced straw-yellow colour, crispy and bright with soft dryness and nutty bouquet. Concentration of fresh fruit, toasty oak with firm, but ripe acidity. Notes of citrus and green apple finish. Elegant floral notes as well nose honey palate.
The 2007 vintage has a sweet, balanced mouth feeling through well-integrated acidity highlighting a natural complexity.

Shop Price: £18.99
75.0CL
Out of stock
Red Wine
Escarpment PINOT NOIR MARTINBOROUGH 2013
New Zealand :: Martinborough
Pinot Noir
Body: c - Medium
Drink now, but will keep

Ripe berry fruits combine beautifully with hints of fennel and feral flavours. Inspired by the classic wines of Burgundy, this Pinot Noir is a tribute to Martinborough's unique terroir.

Shop Price: £19.99
75.0CL
In Stock
White Wine
Greywacke RIESLING Marlborough 2012
New Zealand
Riesling

A delicate, lemony riesling, just off-dry, with vibrant, crisp palate and outstanding purity. Greywacke is the Marlborough label made by Kevin Judd who was the founding winemaker of Cloudy Bay.

Shop Price: £20.49
75.0CL
Out of stock
Red Wine
Isabel PINOT NOIR 2011
New Zealand :: Marlborough
Pinot Noir
Body: b - Light to Medium
Drink now, but will keep

Good Pinot nose with hints of chocolate and pepper which leads to a palate of pure, ripe raspberry fruit.
Beautifully balanced with smooth, ripe tannins, zippy balanced acidity, and good concentration and length.

Shop Price: £22.20
75.0CL
Out of stock