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Though vines have been planted since the early 20th Century, the New Zealand wine industry has only begun to take shape in the past 20 years, and even now only accounts for less than 1% of world production. Much of the attention for New Zealand wine focuses on whites, with Sauvignon Blanc as the signature grape (Chardonnay is a distant second). Pinot Noir is New Zealand's signature red.
The cool climate encompassing New Zealand's growing regions is perfect for high acidity, bright-in-fruit wines. Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand exhibit copious amounts of grapefruit and green pepper notes, while the Pinot Noirs showcase a combination of the California-style boldness and Oregon-style crispness.
Major growing regions include Marlborough, Martinborough, Hawke's Bay and Central Otago.