Racy, aromatic, diverse. Naturally vibrant with a zesty acidity: The wine for asian cuisine.

The South Island’s bright days, cool nights and long, dry autumns create the perfect climate for Riesling. Styles range from bone dry to lushly sweet. You’ll find stonefruit and spice characters from sunny Nelson; lemon, lime and spice from Marlborough; and green apples and citrus from the cooler Waipara Valley and Central Otago regions.

  • Though present in the 1800s, it is only since the 1980s that Riesling began to be planted in volume, rising to the fourth most popular white varietal planted in recent years.
  • 90% of Riesling is grown in the South Island, where the climate is ideally suited with cool, long, dry, sunny autumns, large diurnal variance and low humidity.
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Food Matching

New Zealand Riesling’s combination of fruit intensity, citrus notes and refreshing acidity complement the subtle flavours of Japanese tempura. Enjoy the drier styles with salads and light seafood or chicken dishes, and the sweeter styles with spicy Thai and other Asian foods.


  • Pasta
  • Poultry


  • Citrus & Vinaigrette
  • Garlic


  • Spicy
  • Sweet

Cellaring & Serving

1-5 years

Serving Temperature



Typical regional styles

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

STYLES: Wide range from bone dry to lush sweet.

TYPICAL AROMAS/FLAVOURS: Apple, citrus, lemon and tropical fruit when young, sometimes toasted honey with age. sOILs stony, gravelly sites favoured to enhance minerality.

REGIONALITY: stonefruit and spice in warmer nelson, lime/lemon and spice from Marlborough, and green apples and citrus from cooler Waipara Valley.

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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