The largest wine-growing region in New Zealand is located on the north-eastern tip of South Island on the Cook Strait, which separates the two main islands. On the other side of the strait lies the capital Wellington. It is said that the first vines were planted here by a settler as early as 1867. Until 1973, however, there were only sheep pastures, grain fields and cherry trees here. In 1973, the wine multinational Montana Wines planted vineyards of around 50 hectares here for the first time, thus opening up viticulture on the South Island. However, the success story did not begin until 1985, when the Australian winemaker David Hohnen founded the Cloudy Bay vineyard. Today, the vineyards cover 24,000 hectares in the wide Wairau River valley with the town of Blenheim at its centre. The growing area is divided into three sub-regions: Southern Valleys, Wairau Valley and Awatere Valley. The climate is characterised by long days with plenty of sunshine and distinctly cool nights. The thermals between the Pacific Ocean and the mountain ranges in the north and south produce extremely fruity wines. Due to the low rainfall and dry summers, artificial irrigation is necessary.
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Domäne Wachau (Wachau)