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What are the Best White Wines in New Zealand?

submitted on 11 March 2023 by
New Zealand - home to breathtaking landscapes, friendly locals, and some damn fine wine. And when it comes to white wines, New Zealand is a force to be reckoned with. From crisp Sauvignon Blancs to buttery Chardonnays, there's no shortage of delicious options. But with so many choices, where does one even begin? Fear not, dear travelers, for I am here to guide you through the best white New Zealand wines to try on your travels. And yes, there will be puns.

First up, we have the ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc. This varietal is practically synonymous with New Zealand, and for good reason. The Marlborough region, located on the northern tip of the South Island, produces some of the best Sauvignon Blancs around. And while there are plenty of big-name brands to choose from, why not try something a little more offbeat? May I suggest the "Misty Cove" Sauvignon Blanc? Not only is the name fitting for the misty New Zealand climate, but this wine is also a bit more complex than your average Sauvignon Blanc, with notes of grapefruit and melon. It's a mist-try for sure.

If you're in the mood for something a bit more full-bodied, try a Chardonnay from the Hawke's Bay region. This area, located on the east coast of the North Island, is known for its warmer climate and diverse soil types, which create a unique flavor profile in their wines. And when it comes to Chardonnays, the "Te Mata" winery is a standout. Their Estate Chardonnay has a creamy, buttery texture with hints of peach and vanilla. It's the perfect wine to pair with a decadent meal, or just to enjoy on its own. Trust me, this wine is worth the Te Mata-mony.

Now, let's move on to something a little less well-known - the Riesling. While not as popular as the Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, New Zealand Rieslings are nothing to scoff at. The Waipara Valley, located in the Canterbury region of the South Island, is home to some fantastic Rieslings. And the "Pegasus Bay" winery is one of the best. Their Riesling has a delicate sweetness with a crisp acidity, making it the perfect wine to pair with spicy food or seafood. It's Riesling-ly good.

But what if you're in the mood for something a bit more unusual? Look no further than the "Cloudy Bay" Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris, also known as Pinot Grigio, is a white wine varietal that's typically associated with Italy. But New Zealand's Marlborough region produces some fantastic Pinot Gris wines, and "Cloudy Bay" is one of the best. This wine has a floral aroma with a spicy finish, making it a great match for Asian cuisine or anything with a bit of heat. And the name "Cloudy Bay" is fitting for the unpredictable New Zealand weather. It's a Pinot Gris-ture.

Last but not least, we have the Gewürztraminer. This varietal is a bit more obscure than the others on this list, but it's worth seeking out. The "Villa Maria" winery, located in the Hawke's Bay region, produces a fantastic Gewürztraminer that's a bit on the sweet side. It has a fruity aroma with notes of lychee and rose, making it a great dessert wine or a refreshing sipper on a hot day. And the name "Villa Maria" sounds like the perfect spot for a summer getaway, doesn't it? Gewürztraminer-ly speaking, it is.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "But I don't even like white wine!" Fear not, my friend, for New Zealand also produces some fantastic red wines. But that's a topic for another day. Today, we're all about the whites.

So there you have it, folks - the best white New Zealand wines to try on your travels. From classic Sauvignon Blancs to lesser-known Gewürztraminers, there's something for every palate. And if you're feeling overwhelmed by all the options, don't be afraid to ask for a recommendation. Kiwis are friendly folks, and they're always happy to share their love of wine with visitors.

But let me leave you with a word of caution - be careful not to overindulge. New Zealand's wine is delicious, but it's also potent. Pace yourself, and remember to drink plenty of water. And if you do happen to overdo it, just blame it on the "cloudy" weather. Cheers!
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