There are ten main wine growing regions in New Zealand with each showing great diversity in climate and terrain. No region is more than 130km (80 miles) from the sea and the proximity of vineyards to the ocean has a pronounced effect on the character of New Zealand wines. Mild, sunny summers and marked differences between day and night temperatures in many regions slow the ripening of the grapes and allow them to develop pure, intense varietal flavours. This is the foundation of New Zealand wines’ elegance and power, and helps explain their famed balance, structure and food friendliness. And with growing regions extending 1,600 km (1,000 miles) — from latitude 36° South in the subtropical north to latitude 46° South in the mountainous south (the most southerly vineyards in the world) — regional diversity is dramatic, enabling a striking array of wine varieties and styles to flourish.