In the country about 35,000 hectares are planted with vines, almost three times more than in 2002. The Sauvignon blanc is the most planted and covers about two-thirds of the total. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay both follow with a share of just under 10%. The grape harvest in 2011 for the first time exceeded 300,000 tons and has maintained above.
The most important wine growing area in New Zealand is Marlborough. The special location between two mountain ridges in and near a large amount of water (Pacific Ocean), together with the unique soil conditions (siliceous), creates a microclimate that is extremely suitable for the cultivation of wine grapes. Wines from Marlborough stand out because of their special aromatic qualities made from the Sauvignon blanc grape.
The red wine has also slowly but surely made progress. In the east of the Noorder Island much Merlot and Syrah is cultivated. Some of these wines are of very high quality. But the most important red grape variety in New Zealand is the Pinot Noir. After a hesitant start, the cultivation of this variety has become very important, especially in the interior of the South Island and also in the southern part of the North Island around Martinborough. There is a wide variety of Pinot Noir on the market and some of these wines can compete excellently with the best that the rest of the world has to offer.