Nelson rests on the north-eastern edge of New Zealand's South Island, just off Tasman bay. It was the first city settled on the South Island, yet its wine industry only began to grow in the second half of the 20th century. Two sub-regions make up Nelson: The Moutere Hills and Waimea Plains. Nelson is a comparatively small region, and the town of Nelson is only the 12th largest in the country, though it has a thriving arts and tourist culture that make wine tourism convenient and fun. Despite this, Nelson is not well known internationally and accounts for about 2.5% of New Zealand's total plantings. Visitors who enjoy off the beaten path scenery and boutique wineries may find no better destination than Nelson. The primary grapes in Nelson are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc, as in most of New Zealand. However the area's plantings of Riesling, and Gewurztraminer are highly regarded for the aromatics and elegance. The long growing season and coastal climate make Nelson exceedingly well suited to elegant wines with good acidity. The Moutere Hills tend to produce wines of more depth and richness while the Waimea plains further south (though still along the coast of the Tasman Bay), are light and brisk, highlighting aromatics over texture. Nelson is truly the definition of a boutique wine region, and one that rarely disappoints.