Fine Wines
of New Zealand

Fine Wines
of New Zealand

New Zealand produces a range of world-class wines, renowned for their purity, vibrancy and unique characteristics.

The result of an annual search, it is curated by seven of New Zealand's leading wine experts — Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Emma Jenkins, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas.

The X Finest Wines of 2019

2019's List

Previous Years

The X Finest Wines of 2018

2018's List

The X Finest Wines of 2017

2017's List

The X Finest Wines of 2016

2016's List

From New Zealand’s Finest Wineries

New Zealand’s plentiful vineyards are located in spectacular locations, from sun drenched maritime regions to high alpine environments. These naturally stunning and distinct regions are home to bold pioneers, people who create wine that is famous for its purity, vibrancy and intensity with a freshness that could only come from here.

Great wine isn't the result of a bit of luck and good vintage, it's years of hard-work and complex perseverance.

Simon Nash

Master of Wine

Chosen by
the Masters


With any wine it’s the climate that has the final say.

The Criteria

World-class quality and consistency – a high barrier to inclusion consisting of wine quality, wine pedigree and longevity. A wine that can truly stand the test of time as a world-class example of New Zealand’s finest wine.

A Rigorous

The Search

Each of the panel members is charged with a specific wine variety. Submissions are sought from the wine industry and the panel members put forward their recommendation of what they consider to be the finest examples within each of their respective varietals.

Group Tasting

These wines are then presented to the rest of the panel at the group tasting. Here, each of the wines are tasted blind and robustly debated with a refined selection called back from the initial offering to be re-tasted, this time with supporting back vintages.

Collective Agreement

Those wines that make it through to the group tasting are then once again tasted blind along with the existing Fine Wines to ensure a consistent standard of quality. Each wine is discussed in detail and only those wines that are collectively agreed upon, make the annual list.

Time will tell whether this is the beginning of New Zealand's first true classification system.

Alastair Maling

Winemaker & Chair of Fine Wines of New Zealand

them for yourself

Air New Zealand is a patron to Fine Wines of New Zealand, providing promotional support to the wineries onboard and through its marketing channels. From the Fine Wines of New Zealand list, the Air New Zealand Wine Consultants have selected the best wines to serve at altitude. This selection will be served onboard in Business Premier cabins throughout the year alongside the existing wine offering.

Jim Harre

Air New Zealand Wine Consultant

Altitude makes
a difference

Some wines taste different onboard — it's because of the altitude. Air New Zealand's Wine Consultant, Jim Harre, knows all about this and the science behind it, and that's why he was brought in, to make sure only the right Fine Wines of New Zealand are served onboard.

Fine Wines of New Zealand will be calling for submissions to the 2022 Fine Wines programme in November 2021.

The Charter

The Fine Wines of New Zealand charter outlines the intent of the programme and the selection process that our Fine Wines of New Zealand wine panel will undertake.