Ultimate Guide to the Gisborne Wine Region

Famous Wines of the Gisborne Wine Region

Gisborne accounted for 11 percent of New Zealand's 2008 wine production. The traditional wines that Gisborne is known for are Gewurztraminer and Chardonnay. As more boutique wineries open, Semillon, Chenin Blanc, Merlot, Muscat, Pinot Noir and Viognier are becoming better known.

Although New Zealand's Cabernets and Merlots are lauded for being rich and ripe, offering more quality and character than those from Bordeaux, Gisborne's red wines (Merlot, Malbec and Pinotage) have not been as successful as the region's whites [source: Stevenson].

Here are some particular New Zealand wines of note from the Gisborne region, some of which are recommended by industry experts. Others have won recent awards at the 2008 New Zealand International Wine Show and 2008 Liquorland 100 [source: Stevenson, Gisborne Winegrowers]:

  • Millton Vineyard's barrel-fermented Chardonnay and Opou Riesling from Opov Vineyard
  • Villa Maria's Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay
  • Robard & Butler's Chardonnay
  • Villa Maria's Sauvignon Blanc
  • Aoteo's Sauvignon Blanc (Aoteo is a brand, not a winery)
  • Coopers Sauvignon Blanc
  • Saints Gisborne Chardonnay
  • Montana Terroir Series' Waihirere and Stuart Black Chardonnays
  • Kim Crawford Tietjen Vineyard Gisborne Viognier
  • Longbush Viognier
  • Villa Maria's 2008 Private bin East Coast Pinot Gris
  • Villa Maria's Thornbury Label Gisborne Chardonnay
  • Pernod Ricard's Lindauer Special Reserve Brut Cuvee

Whether you prefer to taste a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc from Gisborne in its local setting or treasure it at home, remember that you're experiencing a unique wine produced from the southernmost winemaking region on Earth. Drink up!

To learn more, visit some of the links on the following page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Book of Knowledge. "New Zealand." The New Book of Knowledge. Published 1994, Grolier.
  • Gisborne Winegrowers. "Wine Region." Gisborne Winegrowers Society. (Accessed 02/13/2009)http://www.gisbornewine.co.nz/region/default.asp
  • Learning Media. "Ngata Dictionary." Learning Media.com. (Accessed 02/15/2009)http://www.learningmedia.co.nz/nz/online/ngata/
  • On the Vine Magazine. "Michael Cooper Wine Atlas of New Zealand." "This is your life Roger McLernon." Summer 2008. (Accessed 02/13/2009)http://www.gisbornewine.co.nz/myfiles/on-the-vine-summer08.pdf
  • Statistics New Zealand. "Gisborne Region Community Profile." (Accessed 02/13/2009)http://www2.stats.govt.nz/domino/external/web/commprofiles.nsf/findinfobyarea/05-rc
  • Stevenson, Tom. The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia. 2001, Dorling Kindersley. "New Zealand."
  • Strong, Janice. "Mudholes, Maori & Chardonnay City, New Zealand's North Island, From Gisborne to Rororua. (Accessed 02/13/2009)http://www.gisbornewine.co.nz/myfiles/IMP-Result-Canadian-Traveller-Feb-2008-Page-1.pdf -
  • Wine Technology in New Zealand. "Rabobank Warns New Zealand Wine Industry to Maintain a Global Supply Shortfall." (Accessed 02/15/2009)http://www.winetech.co.nz/global_supply.htm