Marlborough is NZ’s vinous colossus, producing around three-quarters of the country’s wine. At last count, there were 244 sq km of vines planted – that’s more than 28,000 rugby pitches! Sunny days and cool nights create the perfect conditions for cool-climate grapes: world-famous sauvignon blanc, top-notch pinot noir, and notable chardonnay, riesling, gewürztraminer, pinot gris and bubbly. Drifting between tasting rooms and dining among the vines is a quintessential South Island experience.
A Taste of the Tastings
Around 35 wineries are open to the public. Our picks of the bunch provide a range of high-quality cellar-door experiences, with most being open from around 10.30am till 4.30pm (some scale back operations in winter). Wineries may charge a small fee for tasting, normally refunded if you purchase a bottle. Pick up a copy of the Marlborough Wine Trail map from Blenheim i-SITE, also available online at www.wine-marlborough.co.nz. If your time is limited, pop into Wino’s in Blenheim, a sterling one-stop shop for some of Marlborough’s finer and less common drops.
Best Wining & Dining
Wine tours are generally conducted in a minibus, last between four and seven hours, take in four to seven wineries and range in price from $65 to $95 (with a few grand tours up to around $200 for the day, including a winery lunch).