Nelson, New Zealand
Nelson is the South Island's most northerly wine region and lies west of the famous wine region of Marlborough. In terms of production it is New Zealand’s eighth largest wine growing region and is split into two distinct growing areas.
Nelson has a unique grape-growing topography with the mountains on the western side of the island providing a rain shadow effect and the Tasman Bay on the north assisting to moderate temperature extremes. The region also boasts of plentiful sunshine during the growing season that helps to ripen the grapes to an extent where the flavors are truly reflected in the styles of wines produced.
Most of the vineyards in Nelson are scattered around the Waimea plains and the hills of Upper Moutere. The soils of the region are based on clay which, along with other distinct growing conditions is responsible for the particular characters of the wines from Nelson.
The region is home to cool climate varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Wines from the lower lying sites of the region are known to be aromatic and light, whilst those wines from the hills are described as more weighty and have a distinct minerally character.