The New Zealand region of Canterbury (Māori: Waitaha) is mainly composed of the Canterbury Plains and the surrounding mountains. Its main city, Christchurch, hosts the main office of the Christchurch City Council, the Canterbury Regional Council (promoted as Environment Canterbury) and the University of Canterbury.
Canterbury is New Zealand's largest region, with an approximate area of 42,200 km². The region is bounded in the north by the Conway River and to the west by the Southern Alps. The southern boundary is the Waitaki River.
The area is commonly divided into North Canterbury (north of the Rakaia River), Mid Canterbury (from the Rakaia River to the Rangitata River), South Canterbury (south of the Rangitata River) and Christchurch (Christchurch City). For many purposes South Canterbury is considered a separate region, centred on the city of Timaru.
When the current local government structure was introduced in 1989, Kaikoura District was part of the Nelson-Marlborough Region. That region was later abolished and replaced with 3 unitary authorities. Kaikoura was too small to function as an independent unitary authority and was moved under the jurisdiction of the Canterbury Regional Council. However Kaikoura remains part of Marlborough in the minds of many people.
Canterbury has two major areas of viticulture. These are Waipara and the area around Christchurch, typically labelled merely Canterbury. Recently there have been vintages from plantings from Kurow further to the south.
White wine has typically predominated in Canterbury from Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and to a lesser extent Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. Pinot Noir has had some success in the province particularly in Waipara.
Very recently wine has been produced in Kurow.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
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