Wine from Nelson
This picturesque region, found on the northern tip of the South Island, benefits from high sunshine hours, a sheltered, moderating coastal climate and free-draining, semi-fertile soil. You might not be familiar with this wine region. But it is worth knowing. This boutique wine region produces outstanding Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and aromatics.
About the wine region Nelson
Small is beautiful in this wine region. Nelson is a boutique wine region producing outstanding Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and aromatics, as well as an impressive mix of emerging varieties.
Long renowned for it's bountiful crops and orchards, Nelson's wine roots were cultivated in the mid-1800s, when German settlers planted the areas first grape vines to produce wine.
Nelson wine subregions
Nelson has two subregions:
- Moutere Hills: To the west of the city, the verdant Moutere Hills are slightly warmer and wetter than Waimea and the gravel-threaded clay soils give richness and texture to the wines.
- Waimea Plains: Summing up the sub-region beautifully, Waimea is Maori for ‘river garden’. This traditional area for arable crops, orchards and hops has seen most of Nelson’s recent vineyard expansion.
With stony alluvial soils and a moderating maritime influence, wines tend to be lighter and fresher in style than Moutere, with bright aromas.
Nelson wine style
Nelson's main grape is Sauvignon Blanc, followed by Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
Nelson is a dry, more elegant and gentle expression of Sauvignon Blanc. Nelson Pinot is always expressive and perfumed, with fine, ripe tannins and complex depths.
Nelson has made a name for producing excellent Chardonnay. Depth, elegance and complexity are hallmarks of the best Nelson Chardonnay and the fruit is remarkably pure and intense.