Shiraz's origins are in the vineyards of northern Rhône Valley where it is known as Syrah. In 1832 James Busby, a Scottish viticulturist, brought with him varieties of Syrah to Australia. Now commonly grown in France, Australia and Spain, Shiraz variety differs in taste region to region. Generally, though, the grapes produce medium to full-bodied wines with medium to high levels of tannins, as well as notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. A perfect wine for a barbeque, hearty stews, or strong cheeses.
Located on the East coast of the North island, Hawke's Bay is the oldest wine region in New Zealand and the second largest in terms of production. A spectacular diverse region home to over 200 vineyards, the area has a similar climate and soil profile to Bordeaux. Medoc has particularly led to the Bordeaux-inspired, Merlot-dominant blends. Main varietals here include Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay.