Racy, aromatic, diverse. Naturally vibrant with a zesty acidity: the ideal wine for Asian cuisine.

Hand holding a glass of wine

The South Island's bright days, cool nights and long, dry autumns create the perfect climate for Riesling. 


Introduced in as early as the 1800s, it is only since the 1980s that Riesling has been planted in volume, rising to the fourth most popular white variety planted today.

Over 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. 

Styles found in New Zealand's southerly climes range from bone dry to lushly sweet. 

Statistics for production and exports of riesling
Riesling production and export statistics
Donut graph showing regional split of riesling production
Regional plantings of Riesling in New Zealand

There is a wide range of regional styles from bone dry to lushly sweet.

Nelson: Expressive, fruit-rich styles with ripe stonefruit, spice and citrus blossom. Intense aromatics and crisp, well-structured palates result from Nelson's abundant sunshine, moderate climate and high diurnal variation.

Marlborough: The cooler region of Marlborough has a more linear, overtly aromatic style, producing dry and off-dry styles. They tend towards strongly scented and mouth-wateringly crisp with intense lemon/lime flavours and spice. 

North Canterbury: The cool plains surrounding Christchurch and the undulating terrain an hour's drive north produce crisp, flinty Riesling characterised by green apples and citrus. 

Central Otago: The cool, extended growing season and stony soils give very pristine, heightened aromatics, citrus fruit expressions and finely balanced, delicate structure. 

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.

Cellaring & serving

Statistics for cellar life and serving temperature for Riesling.
Cellaring and serving New Zealand Riesling

Find NZ Riesling for sale near you

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