Sauvignon Blanc reigns supreme and Chardonnay is well established, but an exciting range of other white grape varieties is taking root in NZ, reports Rebecca Gibb MW. Be among the first to see the results of our panel tasting for alternative New Zealand white wines...
Is there no sating the appetite for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? The flamboyant and vibrant style that put the country on the world wine map in the mid-1980s continues to have a thirsty fan base.
The country has become synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc, but it hasn’t always been this way. It was only in 2002 that it became the most-planted variety, taking the crown from Chardonnay, a title it had only inherited from the prolific hybrid Müller-Thurgau a few years earlier.
Despite Sauvignon Blanc’s status as the most important variety in New Zealand today, the country’s vineyards are far from monochromatic. Instead there is an ever-more colourful kaleidoscope of alternative varieties occupying New Zealand’s soils.
Top alternative New Zealand whites from the panel tasting: