Auckland Wine Region History and Culture
While the Maori were most likely the first inhabitants of the area we know as Auckland, the Europeans get credit for bringing viticulture to the area. It's widely recognized that Europeans have a long history of winemaking. So, for many, it comes as no surprise that the beginning of wine production in New Zealand happened around the time Europeans started settling the area in the early to mid 1800s [source: Auckland].
Before European settlement, New Zealand's land was typically used for raising livestock or for traditional farming. But with each new wave of Europeans, New Zealand's market for wine increased. Eventually it reached a point where it made sense for the newly relocated Europeans to dedicate part of the landscape to the production of wine rather than continue to import the expensive wines of their homelands.
The Croatians drove the foundation of the wine industry in Auckland. To this day, New Zealand's three biggest wine producers are Croatian and all are located in the Auckland region [source: Cooper]. In fact, many of the wineries of Auckland are among those considered to be the most successful and well known, partly due to their long histories in the New Zealand wine market [source: Four Corners].
Auckland, like many other areas of New Zealand, is becoming quite the wine tourist destination. When tourists visit Auckland, they are able to taste nearly every type of wine made in New Zealand since the region is known for utilizing grapes from all corners of the country.
Wine production may have gotten off to a late start in New Zealand by comparison to countries with hundreds of years of winemaking history, but it has managed to grab a share of the market pretty quickly. With New Zealand's wine industry picking up steam, and people across the world recognizing it as a power in the world of wine production, we may see Auckland's importance grow in the years to come.