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In Maori, the country is known as “Aoteoroa,” meaning “the land of the long white cloud.” New Zealand consists of two islands, the North Island and the South Island. Winemaking began in 1809 in the North Island in the cool rainy area around Waitangi – a difficult place to grow wine grapes. Some wine is still produced here but most wine production takes place on the South Island. In Martinborough, the area around the national capitol of Wellington, excellent Pinot Noir is produced. Hawkes Bay is known for its warmer climate, kinder to Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Gisbourne has a reputation for its Chardonnays.
On the northern tip of the South Island lies Marlborough and Nelson, which have enjoyed worldwide renown for their Sauvignon Blanc. They also produce excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We at MadWine are very aware of how well these wines pair with popular cuisine and strive to offer the finest wines of this region.