The New Zealand wine industry will mark the 200th anniversary of the first grapevine being planted here next month, with a ceremonial re-planting in the Bay of Islands.
Reverend Samuel Marsden recorded September 25th 1819 as the day he planted a vine in the grounds of the Stone Store, Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands.
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Throughout the 19th and early 20th century, a significant number of European immigrants came to New Zealand and set up vineyards in different regions.
The New Zealand wine industry today consists of over 700 wineries and more than 600 grape growers, and is now a $1.83 billion export earner.
New Zealand Winegrowers will be marking the anniversary with an industry event in Northland, including a ceremonial re-planting at the historic Stone Store, followed by a regional wine tasting and dinner on the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
In his diary, Marsden prophesied, "New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine, as far as I can judge at present of the nature of the soil and climate. Should the vine succeed, it will prove of vast importance in this part of the globe."
Sauvignon Blanc is now the most widely planted variety in New Zealand, accounting for 76 percent of total production, followed by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Over 98 percent of New Zealand's vineyard producing area is now Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) certified, unmatched by any voluntary scheme around the world.