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Explore the Marlborough wine region

Welcome to Marlborough, a New Zealand wine paradise tucked in-between rolling hills and scenic landscapes! Come with us as we explore the region. We will learn about their special grape varieties, innovative sustainable practices, and popular tourist attractions.

Sauvignon Blanc Dominance

What makes Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc so distinctive and popular?

The list goes on for Marlborough Sauvignon, it truly is a mix of Terroir, Acidity and consistency. Marlborough has a very unique terroir that plays a role in sharping the profile for its Sauvignon Blanc.

The region has a maritime climate with cool nights and warmer days. The gravelly soils are rich in minerals. These factors contribute to the vibrant acidity, intense fruit flavors, and clean finish of the wine.

Marlborough Sauvignon is famous for its strong aromas. These scents can include tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, passionfruit, and grapefruit. These enticing scents appeal to a diverse group of white wine enthusiasts.

The cool climate in Marlborough keeps the grapes' natural acidity, making them brighter and more balanced. Consistency is important in Marlborough. They have a strong reputation for it in many different years.

The wine growers in this beautiful region have mastered the art of Sauvignon Blanc and the world knows them for their skills. Perfecting their techniques over time and have become experts in producing high-quality wine. Their dedication and hard work have earned them a reputation for excellence in the industry.

How has Marlborough shaped the global perception of Sauvignon?

The Marlborough region has played such a transformative role in shaping the perspective of Sauvignon worldwide. A wine style that was once considered niche is now one of the most recognised and celebrated styles! So how did they do it?

Introducing a distinctive and vibrant style of Sauvignon Blanc that is known for its intense aromatic, crisp acidity and bold fruit flavours had wine lovers in a brawl. Standing out from traditional expressions, they quickly captured the attention of wine critics and consumers. Marlborough has proven that Sauvignon Blanc can be made in different places with consistent quality. It has set a new standard for winemakers worldwide.

Climate and Terroir

How does Marlborough's unique climate contribute to wine production?

The Maritime climate, with its cool nights and warm days, is a key factor in creating ideal conditions for grape growing. The temperature changes in Marlborough are important for the grapes. They help keep the grapes acidic and aid in ripening and flavor development. The changes occur from day to night. The sunny days in Marlborough's growing season make the grapes ripe. This creates a fruit profile with balanced acidity. The grapes reach full ripeness due to the long sunny days. The result is a vibrant fruit profile.

The region has moderate rainfall and low humidity levels, reducing disease risks and ensuring healthy vineyards with quality fruits. The Marlborough climate is the perfect environment for distinctive and expressive wines!

Are there any microclimates within Marlborough?

The region experiences various microclimates, which are primarily influenced by factors such as local topography, altitude, and proximity to the coast. Marlborough is home to the Wairau, Brancott, and Awatere valleys, three distinct subregions each with their own unique microclimates.

The Wairau Valley in Marlborough's northern part has warmer temperatures and less rainfall than other regions. This makes it perfect for growing Sauvignon and other white wine varieties. Rough soils and lots of sun help grapes grow with strong fruit flavors, making them very bold."

In contrast, the Awatere Valley lies to the south of the Wairau Valley. The Valley has a cooler climate due to its proximity to the coast and higher elevation. This results in grapes with a herbal and mineral character and vibrant acidity.

The Brancott Valley is a sub region between the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. It has different climates because of its varied landscape. The benefits are a combination of warm days and cool nights. These microclimates provide winemakers to produce a diverse range of wines, each unique to the terroir and specific location.

Grape Varieties beyond Marlborough Sauvignon

What are some other thriving grape varieties in the region?

Sauvignon Blanc is the main grape grown in Marlborough. Other varieties like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Riesling also thrive in this region. Marlborough is becoming known for its elegant Pinot Noir. Marlborough is gaining a reputation for its refined Pinot Noir. The cool climate and varied terroir provide ideal conditions for grape cultivation. This leads to a classic Pinot style with vibrant red fruit notes, smooth tannins, and well-balanced acidity.

Chardonnay grows well in Marlborough because of the climate. It has a unique taste with refreshing acidity. The texture is improved by the region's usual flavors of citrus, stone fruit, and hints of oak. Lets not forget Riesling, this beautiful grape varietal is well suited in cooler microclimates, particularly when grown in areas like Awatere Valley.

How do these varietals differ from other regions of NZ?

Each of the grapes differ to the rest of New Zealand in several ways, commonly like any other region grapes tend to reflect the terroir and climate. Marlborough Sauvignon is the fan favourite of Marlborough which compared to other regions has a more pronounced aromatic style with brighter and crisper acidity.

The beautiful Pinot produced here tends to show a more fruit-forward style with riper fruit flavours, the microclimates reflect the wine with elegance and complexity with cooler-climate regions. Unlike Chardonnay from warmer regions like California, you'll notice there is less emphasis on ripe tropical flavours and instead a focus on lighter and fresher styles.

Sustainability and Environmental practises

What sustainability initiatives are Marlborough wineries undertaking?

Marlborough wine producers are leading the way in sustainability initiatives. They focus on social responsibility, reduce environmental impact, and ensure the long-term success of their operations. Many wineries in the region are supporting these efforts!

Yealands is well-known for their dedication to sustainability. They have achieved carbon neutrality and obtained numerous certifications. Yealands is known for being dedicated to sustainability.

They have achieved carbon neutrality and obtained many certifications. In a unique approach, they use sheep to graze between their vineyard rows. This helps reduce the need for mowing and herbicides.

Another popular vineyard is seresin estate, they are dedicated to organic and biodynamic farming practises with all their vineyards certified organic by BioGro NZ!

Cloudy Bay is helping to save water and protect wildlife by putting in rainwater collection systems and water recycling facilities. This will help decrease the amount of water used in making their wine.

Are there any organic or biodynamic practises enhanced by Marlborough?

Increasingly embracing organic and biodynamic practises in recent years, Marlborough is showing what can be done. Several wineries in Marlborough have pursued organic certification which involves farming practises that minimize the use of synthetic chemicals, Yealands have jumped on board as well as Seresin Estate.

Biodynamic farming takes organic practises a step further, taking holistic principles and self-sustaining their eco-systems following a lunar calendar, Seresin is notable for their biodynamic certification body.

Saint Clair Family Estate and Cloudy Bay are two wineries worth mentioning, both incorporating composting and cover cropping into their vineyard management strategies which reduce the need or synthetic fertilizers and boosts the health of the ecosystems.

Marlborough Tourism

Amongst some breath-taking views and landscapes you'll spot rolling vineyards, rugged coastlines and majestic mountain ranges. Panoramic views leave visitors breathless. You'll enjoy several world-class wineries and cellar doors that you can dive into a world of Marlborough cuisine and unique wines.

A few recommended Marlborough winery tours:

Marlborough wine tours, there are several spots that offer this including half day and full day tours

If you enjoy bike riding, there are a few companies that offer self guided or guided bike tours through vineyards, scenic cycling routes with options to stop for tasting and lunch, explore Marlborough and wine tours by bike are a few good companies to reach out too.

If you are looking to impress, head to Marlborough helicopters for a luxurious experience and hop on a helicopter and enjoy a Birdseye view of Marlborough landscapes and visit exclusive wineries that offer gourmet lunches.

Unique attractions and events:

There is lots to do in Marlborough with several events and attractions that draw many visitors in! The Queen Charlotte track is a popular hiking and mountain biking trail that shows the Marlborough Sounds coastline. Enjoy a fun Sunday morning at the Marlborough Farmers Market that's located in Blenheim with a range of the regions finest produce and artisanal goods.

Check out Marlborough sounds cruises, you might even spot a few dolphins and seals! Wine lovers can go on a weekend getaway to the Marlborough wine and food festival. It is the oldest and longest-running wine festival in New Zealand. The festival takes place every February.

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