New Zealand, consists of two islands in the Pacific Ocean, North Island and South Island. A relative newcomer to the wine scene, its first vines were planted on North Island in 1819 by an English missionary and little was heard of it for the next century. During the 1960s the government decided to promote viniculture in New Zealand, encouraging investors who brought money, new technology, and the benefits of wine research. Small, family-run vineyards with their own New Zealand wineries, remain the backbone of the New Zealand wine industry. In the past fifty years, New Zealand's reputation as a major player in the world of wine has sky-rocketed. New Zealand lies in the southern hemisphere, equivalent latitude to Nova Scotia, making it the southernmost wine growing country in the world.