New Zealand: Geography and climate

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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New Zealand grows the world’s most southerly grapes and, less significantly, the world’s most easterly, thanks to an adjacent dateline. A parallel is sometimes made between the southern latitudes of New Zealand’s wine regions and those of famous European regions. If New Zealand were in the northern hemisphere, the country would stretch from North Africa to Paris but the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream on European vineyards results in hotter growing conditions than in the vineyards of equivalent southern latitudes.