Vineyards

New Zealand burst onto the world wine stage in the 1980s with striking Sauvignon Blancs that crammed more flavour into the glass than any other country had ever achieved with that classic French variety. Today's wines are riper and less green-edged in an easier-drinking style, but they are still considered to be some of the best in the world.

Issue information

New Zealand's climate and soils are the key assets that enable the production of outstanding table wines. Around the world, the finest wines are grown in regions with relatively cool climates where grapes are able to ripen fully but slowly, retaining their refreshing acidity while building up subtle aroma and flavours.

The stamps were illustrated by Nancy Tichborne and designed by Dianne Prosser.

Product Listing for Vineyards

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Central Otago' gummed stamp.

This stamp featured the Rippon vineyard, situated on the edge of Lake Wanaka and surrounded by snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps. The area's extreme dryness reduced the risk of disease and allowed an extended autumn ripening period. Central Otago's first Methode Champenoise was produced by Rippon in 1993.

$0.40
Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Hawke's Bay' gummed stamp.

Hawke's Bay Chardonnays, oak-matured Sauvignon Blancs and Cabernet-based reds from this region ranked amongst the best in the country. Marist missionaries planted the first vines in 1851 in the Hawke's Bay and by the 1890s several wealthy landowners were producing commercial volumes of wine. The Hawke's Bay climate of warm, sunny summers, dryish autumns and a strong maritime influence has distinct parallels with Bordeaux in France - an area renowned for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot-based reds. Te Mata Estate is shown on this stamp, a vineyard with a reputation for producing high-quality red wines.

$0.80
Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Marlborough' gummed stamp.

Marlborough is by far New Zealand's largest wine region, with almost 40 percent of all plantings. Grapevines sweep across the pebble, pancake-flat Wairau Valley, and are also well-established in the Awatere Valley, over the hills to the south-east. Sauvignon Blanc is the flagship varietal of Marlborough, and Cloudy Bay, the vineyard featured on this stamp has received much acclaim for its Sauvignon Blancs, as well as its Chardonnays.

$1.00
Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'Canterbury/Waipara' gummed stamp.

The Christchurch district produces leaner, steelier wines than the more robust and ripely flavoured wines flowing from the sheltered warmer sites in North Canterbury, the location of Pegasus Bay which is shown on this stamp. Pegasus Bay is planted on a bed of smooth stones left by the retreat of an ice-age glacier. The Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot produced by Pegasus Bay is a wine that has gained a big reputation.

$1.20
Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Gisborne' gummed stamp.

Gisborne growers produced over a third of the total New Zealand grape harvest in 1997. Sun drenched Gisborne is a wine grower's paradise which particularly favours the Chardonnay grape. The Millton Vineyard is shown on this stamp, a winery that has gained renown for natural, chemical-free methods of winemaking, as well as the quality of its white wines. One of the Millton success stories is the Millton Opou Riesling.

$1.50
Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'Auckland/Waiheke' gummed stamp.

Only three percent of New Zealand's vines are planted in the Auckland region, but over a quarter of the wine companies are based in Auckland. Thick skinned Cabernet Sauvignon grapes flourish in Auckland's warm and sunny, but relatively damp climate producing sturdy red wines with rich blackcurrant and spice flavours. Goldwater Estate pioneered wine-making on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf, and is famous for its magnificently full-flavoured and complex Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot.

$1.80
Miniature Sheet Booklet Collectable booklet containing a range of miniature sheets and further information on the stamp issue. $13.40
First Day Cover First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $7.20
Set of Maximum Cards Pre-paid set of six postcards featuring a stamp on the front and artwork from the stamp issue. $7.95
Limited Edition Limited edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

Date of issue:  19 March 1997
Stamps and first day cover illustrated by: Nancy Tichborne, Akaroa, New Zealand
Stamps and first day cover designed by: Dianne Prosser, Wellington, New Zealand
Miniature sheets and booklet designed by: Communication Arts Limited, Wellington, New Zealand
Number of stamps: Six
Number of miniature sheets in booklet: Seven, one of each stamp denomination and one containing all six stamps.
Printer: Southern Colour Print, New Zealand
Number of colours: Four process colours, gold plus one special colour each denomination
Size and format: Stamps: 44.3mm x 30mm horizontal; Miniature sheet: 160mm x 110mm horizontal
Sheet size: 100 stamps per sheet; Miniature sheets of one, three and six stamps
Process: Lithography
Perforation gauge: 14
Paper type: Harrison and Sons, 103 gsm red phosphor coated, unwatermarked
Special blocks: Plate/imprint, positional or value blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats and could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps.
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 19 March 1998.