Because Nelson is so small, you might expect it to produce one main type of wine, maybe two, tops. But guess again -- Nelson actually specializes in four wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. These varietals represent about 80 percent of the region's land devoted to grapevines [source: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise].
The most important varieties that Nelson wineries produce are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Chardonnay takes the cake as the top wine in the Nelson region [source: Wine-Searcher]. Chardonnay is also the most widely planted grape variety in the whole of New Zealand [source: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise].
Next on the list are Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. Nelson is known for adding a unique twist to its Sauvignon Blancs, different than other regions and countries might produce [source: Wine Art].
Aside from the top four, Nelson is also coming into its own by experimenting with the wines known as aromatics. These include Pinot Gris and Gewuztraminer [source: Wine Art].
Now that you're equipped with this valuable knowledge of the wines of the Nelson region, feel free to pass on the snippets of information you learned about this New Zealand region to your friends. And if you ever run into any Kiwis out in the world, you'll be able to carry on a conversation that involves something near and dear to their hearts. For additional information, visit the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- AA Travel. "New Zealand Nature Tours/Wine Exposed Tours." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.aatravel.co.nz/main/listing.php?listingId=69496
- Encyclopedia Britannica. "Nelson." (Accessed 2/21/09) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/408349/Nelson
- Four Corners. "Nelson Wine Region." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.fourcorners.co.nz/new-zealand/nelson-wine/
- Global Visas. "Nelson." (Accessed 2/21/09) http://www.globalvisas.com/new_zealand/nelson.html
- Kiwi Wineries. "Nelson Wine Region." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.kiwiwineries.com/nelson.htm
- New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. "New Zealand Wine Industry Profile--September 2007." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.marketnewzealand.com/common/files/NZ%20Wine%20Industry%20Profile%2007-08.pdf
- Tourism. "Wine and Dining New Zealand." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.tourism.net.nz/wineries-new-zealand.html
- Wine Art. "Nelson Aromatics Symposium 2007." (Accessed 2/21/09) http://www.wineart.co.nz/symposiumreport.htm
- Wine Art. "Nelson Aromatics Symposium 2010." (Accessed 2/21/09) http://www.wineart.co.nz/symposium.htm
- Wines of New Zealand. "Nelson." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.winesofnz.com/Regions.aspx?region=nelson&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
- Wine Searcher. "Nelson Wine." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.wine-searcher.com/regions/nelson
- WTN. "Nelson." (Accessed 2/19/09) http://www.wtn.co.nz/regions/nelson.asp