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

three women talking at the aromatics symposium
Aromatics Symposium 2017, Nelson

Riesling thrives on the bright days, cool nights and long, dry autumns found in New Zealand's South Island. 

A perfect climate for this aromatic and succulent variety, styles found in New Zealand's southerly climes range from bone dry to lushly sweet. 

Stonefruit and spice characters are common in examples from sunny Nelson.

Lemon, lime and spice notes are found in Riesling from Marlborough.

The cooler Waipara Valley and Central Otago regions producing wines with crisp green apples and citrus characters.

Introduced in as early as the 1800s, Riesling saw an influx in plantings from the 1980s, and today has risen to become New Zealand's fourth most planted white varietal.

Statistics for production and exports of riesling
SOURCE: New Zealand Winegrowers Annual Report

Find NZ Riesling for sale near you

Donut graph showing regional split of riesling production
Regional plantings of Riesling in New Zealand

Typical regional styles

Climate is a major factor in defining regional 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 are favoured to enhance minerality.
Stonefruit and spice in warmer Nelson, lime/lemon and spice from Marlborough, and green apples and citrus from cooler Waipara Valley.

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

Cellaring and serving New Zealand Riesling

Overall plantings in the last 10 years (hectares)

Overall Plantings of Riesling

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