Marlborough Wine Region
In little over 20 years Marlborough wine region has earned a global reputation for excellence. The largest producer of wine in New Zealand, Marlborough has firmly stamped its mark on the “new world” wine scene.
When the first wine companies and growers planted grapes in the modern era of Marlborough’s winemaking history in the 1970s (this followed pioneering grape growing, winemaking and commercial activity as early as 1870s), it is unlikely they would have foreseen the extent of the growth and fame that the region’s wine industry would achieve, based upon a single varietal called Sauvignon Blanc. The distinctive pungency and zest fruit flavours of the first Marlborough wines, in particular Sauvignon Blanc, captured the imagination of the country’s winemakers as well as international wine commentators and consumers and sparked vineyard development that reached its zenith in the mid 2000s.
Worldwide interest in Marlborough wines, particularly Sauvignon Blanc, has continued to fuel that regional wine boom.The continued worldwide interest and demand for Marlborough wines fuels on ongoing growth of plantings. The region currently has 23,600 hectares of land planted with planted grapes. These plantings are primarily located within the Wairau Valley. Over the last decade, viticulture has also spread southeast into the smaller slightly cooler Awatere Valley. More recently the southern side valleys of the Wairau – Fairhall, Hawkesbury and Waihopai – have gathered a collection of vines. New Zealand’s first exportation of wine in 1963 came ten years before grapes were even planted in Marlborough. However, Marlborough is now the largest wine producing region in the country, 79% of New Zealand’s total active wine production.
Free draining soils and warm growing conditions mean the South Island region is perfectly suited to wine production. Producing a full range of wine varieties, Marlborough turns out arguably the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world, as well as top-notch Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines.