Film, art, adventure sports and beautiful landscapes, New Zealand is known for a lot of things. For a small country, we’ve exported our fair share of innovations and great ideas – Kiwi culture has become recognised and loved all over the world. The only thing that should trump the iconic image of the New Zealand sheep and the Kiwi bird itself is the country’s award-winning selection of wines.
New Zealand Wine from Marlborough
The undisputable capital of winemaking in New Zealand has to be Marlborough in the South Island. Travellers from all over the world find themselves relaxing by the shores of Cook Strait in Picton, exploring Marlborough Sounds and its many inlets and bays, enjoying lunch in Blenheim and, most importantly sampling the world famous Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Before your stay in Marlborough, read on to find out more about the region’s rich wine producing history.
Marlborough in the 19th Century
While the first wine companies and vineyards that marked the modern era didn’t spring up until the 1970s, winemaking in the region began a century before in the late 1800s. Grape growing and other commercial activity in Marlborough started early with the arrival of Europeans to the country, but it would be another hundred years until the region began to explode internationally because of its famous wines.
Marlborough is one of the sunniest, driest areas of the country. The climate is an obvious choice for viticulture as grapes have more time to ripen, intensifying rich and vibrant flavours in the fruit.
The Modern Marlborough Wine Era
Marlborough’s wines are known for their zesty, fruity flavours. What began in the 70s as a small collection of wine companies and vineyards quickly exploded as the world took interest in the region and, in particular, the Sauvignon Blanc. The mid 2000s saw the region peak in popularity, with worldwide interest in Marlborough Wine booming. Today Marlborough is the most active wine-producing region in the country with more than 23,000 hectares of land dedicated to grape growing. Since the mid 2000s, growing has spread from Wairau Valley to the south – including areas like Hawkesbury, Fairhill and Awatere Valley.
It’s one of New Zealand’s most popular regions for many reasons. It’s gorgeous, there are plenty of chances to explore the iconic Kiwi landscape and with a quality tourism industry supported by its reputation as one of the top wine growing regions in the world, you know you’re in for a luxurious stay during your visit. best willamette valley wine tours