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New Zealand’s cool vineyards produce crisp, zesty wines

The South Pacific islands produce wines closee to their European counterparts.

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc
Wither Hills Sauvignon BlancRead moreCourtesy of Wither Hills

Great Wine Values

New Zealand is an outlier among winemaking nations in that its wines defy one of the most predictable patterns of the wine universe: the great ripeness divide. Wines from Europe tend to taste different from those made in the Americas and southern hemisphere.

The French and Italian classics are almost always slightly lighter and more acidic than wines made with the same grape varieties elsewhere because their grapes are picked at slightly lower degrees of ripeness due to colder climate conditions. This predictable distinction happens because almost all wine regions are considerably warmer and drier than their European counterparts. Colder places yield lower grape ripeness, which produces wines with lower alcohol and higher acidity and skews aromatics in herbal or earthy directions. Higher ripeness in warmer regions like California or Argentina produces stronger, jammier wines that taste more like cooked fruit desserts than fresh-picked fruit.

New Zealand is the exception to the rule, though, in that its vineyards are unusually chilly. These islands in the far South Pacific are surrounded and cooled by frigid ocean currents from Antarctica. This yields mouthwatering results — zesty, lightweight sauvignon blancs that feature bold flavors of tropical fruits and cleansing scents of green herbs. This delightful example offers brisk lime and grapefruit flavors, along with leafy aromas of lemongrass and celery.

Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc

$10.99 13% alcohol

PLCB Item #3656

Sale price through 11/1 – regularly $14.99

Also available at:

Joe Canal’s in Bellmawr, N.J.  - $9.99

Canal’s in Mt. Ephraim, N.J. - $11.99

Williamstown Super Buy Rite in Williamstown, N.J.- $12.99