New Zealand Wine Guide launches in lockdown

Celia Hay describes wine as a journey of discovery that helps people to learn about their taste buds and personal preferences in her new book, the New Zealand Wine Guide, which arrived in New Zealand during the country’s full lockdown at Alert level 4.

The new book is a revised second edition, designed primarily as a teaching material for her business, The New Zealand School of Food & Wine in Auckland. It was to have been launched officially at an event this month (April) with key wine people at the school at Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour, but lockdown prevented the launch from going ahead.

Hay has divided the book into seven chapters with the addition of a three page New Zealand wine timeline from 1769 with Captain Cook’s arrival on the Endeavour to 2020 with the country’s wine exports forecast to reach $2 billion.

Its layout is easy to digest, broken up with images, full colour photographs and explanatory captions, covering everything from the seasons of the vineyard, soil types and their importance, pests and diseases, pruning, vine trellising and key grape varieties to phylloxera, regions, wine tasting and how to describe components of wine from colour to condition and flavours.

Full colour illustrations throughout the 168 page book are mostly provided by photographer and winemaker Kevin Judd. Advice and editorial comment for the content was provided by winemakers James Healy, Lynnette Hudson, Kevin Judd, Michael Brajkovich MW, James Millton, Therese Herzog and also by New Zealand Winegrowers and the writer of this story.

I taught New Zealand wine and WSET qualifications at the school for eight years.

The New Zealand Wine Guide, Revised 2nd Edition, by Celia Hay, published by Hay Publishing, RRP $45 from

Author: Joelle Thomson

I am a wine writer, author and educator... first bitten by a big buttery Chardonnay on a dark and stormy night in the 1980s and there was no turning back... Follow my tastings and join some too on this new site.

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