New Zealand extends 1,600km (1000 miles) from sub-tropical Northland (36° S) to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (46° S). Vineyards benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate (no vineyard is more than 120km, or 80 miles, from the ocean) with long sunshine hours and nights cooled by sea breezes. Cool temperatures allow for long ripening period. As a result, flavour development is done without impeding on fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned. The majority of the winegrowing regions are located on the East coast of the Islands in the rain shadow of the mountains. Over the years, sub-regional characteristic have shone through thanks to the relentless efforts of a new breed of winemakers focused on making wines true to their terroirs. The Marlborough region is world famous for its outstanding Sauvignon blanc, now held by many as the world’s best.
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