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New Zealand

The English navigator James Cook (1728-1779) took possession of the land consisting of two main islands for England in 1769. In 1819, the Anglican missionary Samuel Marsden (1765-1838) planted the first grapevines he had brought with him from Australia near Kerikeri on the north-east coast of the North Island. When Charles Darwin (1809-1882) went ashore from the ship Beagle at this very spot in 1835, he saw (as he later wrote) healthy vines. James Busby (1802-1871), who had already founded Australian viticulture, planted a vineyard not far away at Waitangi. He produced the first significant quantities of wine and is considered the first producer. The wine-growing region around Auckland was created by immigrants from Dalmatia, and Croatian families are still an integral part of New Zealand viticulture today. They were also the founders of Montana Wines and Nobilo, which today are among the largest New Zealand wineries.

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