A GIS Analysis of New Zealand Terroir

This paper summarises a national survey of the geological setting of vineyards in New Zealand. We also provide an overview of climate, slope, aspect and varietals planted in New Zealand vineyards as a whole and for some individual regions.
New Zealand produces premium quality wines and its wine industry is growing rapidly. Growing degree days in the winegrowing regions range from 900 in cool Central Otago and Canterbury to over 1600 in the warmest region in the country, Auckland. Average growing season temperatures for the same regions range from approximately 14.3°C to 17.6°C. New Zealand vineyards are planted mainly on flat alluvial and glacial gravels with slopes of less than 3°. Rapid growth is pushing new plantings onto adjacent hillsides that are underlained by greywacke, schist and less commonly limestone. The expansion of the industry onto these different substrates will affect grape and wine characteristics; this provides significant opportunities to develop new styles of New Zealand ultra-premium wines.

Authors: Stephen P. IMRE and Jeffrey L. MAUK

School of Geography, Geology and Environmental Science, University of Auckland, Private Bag, 92019 Auckland, New Zealand

Email: S.Imre@auckland.ac.nz

Keywords: GIS, terroir, New Zealand, geology, soil, climate

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