New Zealand is best known for its fresh and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc, which accounts for 72% of wine production and 86% of exports. The UK is New Zealand's second largest export market after Australia.
It experiences a maritime climate overall, with Antarctic south-easterlies, long hours of sunshine and free-draining soils. Ancient, free-draining riverbeds are the basis of most New Zealand vineyards, their flat nature facilitating mechanisation.
The country's viticultural heritage dates back to 1840.