Balanced, fruit-laden, concentrated. Ever-evolving, yet eternally elegant with its balance of minerality and fruit.

In terms of structure and acidity, they recall the great chardonnays of Burgundy. In their totality they are like nothing else from anyplace.” — Michael Franz, Washington Post, USA

Elegant and fruit-driven, the classic New Zealand Chardonnay is mouth- filling, with concentrated citrus and tropical fruit. A crisp acidity balances the flavours, which are often perfectly rounded with oak.

Its versatility makes Chardonnay a perfect canvas for viticulturists and winemakers eager to craft a masterpiece. A range of Chardonnays are produced in New Zealand from fruit-driven, unoaked styles to concentrated Burgundian styles.

  • During the 1990s, plantings of this internationally fashionable variety exceeded those of every other grape. Chardonnay remains planted in every region.
  • As a wine, Chardonnay strongly reflects New Zealand’s unique terroir and the huge diversity within its regions.
29 9% 2.2%

Food Matching

A young or unoaked Chardonnay is fabulous with seafood. Mature New Zealand Chardonnays are richer and more complex with stronger toast and nut flavours; they complement full flavoured savoury dishes such as chicken, veal and rabbit with creamy, garlic or lemon flavoured sauces. The creamy, fruit-driven flavours of mature New Zealand Chardonnay are sublime alongside a dessert of poached pears.


  • Fish, Seafood & Shellfish
  • Pasta
  • Poultry


  • Citrus & Vinaigrette
  • Cream
  • Garlic


  • Savoury

Cellaring & Serving

1-2 years
2-5 years

Serving Temperature



Typical regional styles

Climate is the major factor in the distinction of regional styles.

GISBORNE & HAWKE'S BAY: Warmer climates typically yield full-medium bodied, round, rich flavours and soft-medium acidity.

SOUTHERLY STYLES: Marlborough and other cool-climate regions: Typically medium to light bodied with greater acidity and minerality and fresh, citrus and savoury flavours. 

Planting data

Plantings per Region (2014)


Overall plantings in the last 12 years





SOURCE: New Zealand Winegrower's Vineyard Register Report & Annual Report

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