Although the first vines were planted almost 140 years ago, in 1883, New Zealand Pinot Noir didn’t really find traction with either producers or consumers until more than a century later.
Today, with more than 5,800ha planted (all figures from New Zealand Winegrowers), it is the country’s top red grape variety by far, with approximately 14.5 million bottles exported in 2021.
Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 20 marvellous New Zealand Pinot Noirs
It flourishes in New Zealand’s cool South Island regions of Central Otago, Marlborough, North Canterbury with smaller amounts in Nelson. Exciting wines are also being made in the North Island, notably Martinborough in the south, plus a few top producers in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne.