NZ wine in 1976

Müller-Thurgau grapes (Photo: © SOPA RF/SOPA/Corbis)

I recently came across some old copies of a wine industry magazine called Wine Review. The 1976 edition of this quarterly publication included a chart showing the vineyard area and number of growers in each region.

Interesting to note that Auckland (Warkworth to Pukekohe) had four times the vineyard area of Marlborough. Gisborne had a larger acreage than Hawke’s Bay. Nelson and the Wairarapa virtually didn’t exist as wine regions. Marlborough had only two growers – Montana was one, it’s my guess that Hunter’s, Lawson’s Dry Hills or Te Whare Ra was the other. There were no vineyards south of Marlborough.

Müller-thurgau was the dominant grape variety with twice the acreage of palomino (a sherry grape) in second place. The hybrid baco 22A was third just ahead of cabernet sauvignon which was followed by seibel 5455 (another hybrid), chasselas and pinotage.

We’ve come a long way.

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