200 years of New Zealand Wine

Wairau River

Two centuries of winemaking in New Zealand are being commemorated at the latest ‘International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration’ in Marlborough this month. 

Vine growing and winemaking in New Zealand go back to colonial times and early vineyards on North Island included those planted by Roman Catholic missionaries to produce communion wine in Hawkes Bay. Much has changed since then and since the 1970sSauvignon Blanc has had a meteoric rise where previously the grape variety Muller Thurgau was the dominant white grape.  Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has established a reputation in the UK and throughout the world for its premium quality and it remains New Zealand’s biggest wine export.

New Zealand as a category is enjoying strong growth in the UK, with figures revealing 7% value growth in the UK off-trade and 10% value growth in the on-trade in 2018 (Nielsen and CGA to November 2018), with Sauvignon Blanc being the UK’s number one grape variety, holding over 14% of the light wine market share. New Zealand is one of two countries in growth in the on-trade (the other being Italy).

Our producer in Marlborough, Wairau River was established by Phil and Chris Rose in 1978. The winery is still run by the Rose family with the next generation now getting involved including Phil and Chris’ five Children and extended family.

Find out more about their fantastic wines here.