Digitising New Zealand wine regions: an initial investigation
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New Zealand’s climate and soil or the “ Terroir” along with carefully selected suitable grape varieties or the “Cultiva” that allow the varieties to only just ripe have made the country’s wine regions world famous over the last decade. Hence, understanding the nexuses between such unique climate, soil and variety combinations is significantly vital to the future of New Zealand wine industry. The wine interpretations, for example, Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blancs described as mouthfilling, riper and rounder than the more penetrating zingly Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough or Auckland’s reds portrayed as an earthy, spicy and warmth contrasting to those from the southern that are seen as possessing fresh, vibrant and fruit characters, in fact say a lot about the “Terroir” and “Cultiva”. Interestingly, within some wine regions, there are sub-regions and some instances even within vineyards so called “within-field” variability in soil and climate conditions that seem to influence wine styles to greater extents. Such exceptional environmental conditions, combined with grape varieties and wine making talents have resulted in premium wine styles that have earned New Zealand winemakers a number of accolades in international wine events and soaring wine prices in overseas, especially in UK and USA. Nonetheless, New Zealand wine regions have been poorly mapped when compared to other fine-wine producing countries. In this context, the paper looks at digitising soil, climate, environmental (independent) and wine quality (dependent) related data for mapping and analysing New Zealand’s wine regions at different scales, such as “macro”, “meso” and “within-field”, ultimately for establishing the co-relations between the factors associated with grape vine growth and wine quality ratings.