New Zealand wines have been transformed during the last 30 years from something of a viticultural backwater to a dynamic, vibrant and above all high quality producer of stylish wines. Sauvignon Blanc is the most widely planted variety, concentrated in the North of South Island, and with a reputation established by Cloudy Bay but now spread across a wide range of quality focussed, independent producers. Cool climate is the keyword for New Zealand wines and it is this feature that allows the production of wines with balance and freshness. Regionality is being recognised in New Zealand as certain grape varieties are well suited to particular areas. Late ripening Cabernet Sauvignon performs well in Auckland's warm, often wet climate, whereas the relativley cool, dry climate of Central Otago suits the earlier ripening Pinot Noir. A Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay will be richer and fuller than its Marlborough counterpart, where leanness and flintier characters emerge. Riesling and Pinot Gris are beginning to gain in popularity, showing some fine varietal qualities within a New Zealand context.