Marlborough put New Zealand on international wine lists with its Sauvignon Blanc in the 1980s. To this day Marlborough remains the largest wine producing region in the country. The cool, yet sunny climate, low rainfall and fertile soils are ideal conditions to produce this unique wine. There are over 150 wineries in Marlborough now, so make a plan on where to stop ahead.
The Marlborough wineries offer a huge range of wines to enjoy including Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. Our favourite wineries in this wine dense 20,000ha area are below. Your tasting experience and favourites will depend on which grape varieties you like best and where you’re eager to explore.
What they lack in fancy tasting rooms and restaurants they more than make up for with amazing sparkling wine! Winemaker Daniel Le Brun, and the 12 generations before him are experts in making methode traditionelle wine. They use traditional grapes found in Champagne – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. It is equal, if not better than Champagne quality.
When the first Riesling vines were planted in 1981, Rex Brooke-Taylor had no idea that Marlborough would become famous for wine. The first wine released under the Framingham name was the 1994 Riesling. Framingham offer complimentary tastings, winery tours, a vineyard or underground cellar walk.
Family run Allan Scott Family Winemakers celebrated their 21st vintage in 2010. Surrounded by 80 hectares of vineyards the winery produces a full range of wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Methode Traditionelle and Pinot Noir.
It’s a great place to stop around lunchtime Their restaurant ‘Twelve Trees’ is a great place to stop and sample regional produce.
Launched in 1988 by Doctors’ John and Brigid Forrest, it was one of the first 10 wineries in the Marlborough region. As you approach through the oldest Sauvignon Blanc vineyard you’re welcomed by a duck pond, shady trees, bean bags and the friendly dogs. They produce an eclectic variety of wines including low alcohol ones. Taste a few or choose a tasting tray of six with a cheese platter.
Personally I don’t rate Cloudy Bay wines highly. Yet, the setting of the winery is beautiful if over commercialised and very much feels like a wedding venue. They offer paid tastings in the gardens and you can enjoy seasonal food from Jack’s Raw Bar. It’s definitely worth a visit for the surroundings.