If the country was in the Northern Hemisphere, it would be at about the same latitude as North Africa, generally considered too hot to grow grapes. But because both islands are relatively long and narrow, the influence of the ocean helps keep temperatures lower than they would in the Northern Hemisphere.
New Zealand is part of the New World, but for its relatively short time as a winemaker, it has become synonymous with the exciting and perfumed Sauvignon Blanc, in a way that no other area has ever been associated.
The two main wine-growing regions here are Auckland at the northern end of the island and Hawke's Bay on the east coast south of Gisborne. Closer to the equator, these areas are warmer than those on the South Island, but still cooler than areas of the same latitude in the Northern Hemisphere. Here the bold Sauvignon Blanc and even Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are established in the national wine production.
South Island came to the wine scene as a quality producer only when Cloudy Bay in Marlborough at the northern end of the island began its production of Sauvignon Blanc and rose to the top in a short time. In recent years, the exquisite Pinot Noir from New Zealand is also gaining popularity - we expect more and more elegant proposals from this part of the Southern Hemisphere.