Lying in the heart of New Zealand’s wine country, the town of Blenheim is the gateway to Marlborough – the country’s largest and most prestigious wine region renowned for its world class Sauvignon Blanc.
At least 30 wineries in Blenheim are easily accessible from the charming town centre, which is often used as a base from which to discover the region that spans over 20,000 hectares of typically glorious Kiwi countryside in the South Island. A typical tour of a Blenheim winery will involve exploring the vineyards and cellar door accompanied by a professional guide to explain the region’s characteristics before sampling several premium wines, often paired with delicious local cuisine. Since there are over 140 wineries scattered across the entire Marlborough region, we have selected four of the finest wineries in Blenheim to help ease your decision-making process:
The region that spans over 20,000 hectares of typically glorious Kiwi countryside in the South Island. A typical tour of a Blenheim winery will involve exploring the vineyards and cellar door accompanied by a professional guide to explain the region’s characteristics before sampling several premium wines, often paired with delicious local cuisine.
This is where the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in Marlborough, which would eventually become New Zealand’s signature grape after exploding on to the international scene in the 1980s and continuing to win awards to this day.Perched seamlessly on the hillside, the newly completed Brancott Estate Heritage Centre provides a state of the art wine tasting room and accompanying on-site restaurant with majestic views across the surrounding vineyards.Serious enthusiasts can learn about the history of the region’s wine during an excellent audio-visual experience telling the story of the brand and the pioneering nature of its founders and winemakers.
Cloudy Bay is another internationally revered brand on the Blenheim wineries map, which can be reached in less than 15minutes from the town centre. Arguably New Zealand’s most well-known export brand, the estate offers a diverse range of styles including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling varieties.It is also unique among wineries in Blenheim for producing Te Koko, a full-bodied alternative style Sauvignon Blanc that has been matured in French oak barrels and undergone a complete malolactic fermentation.You can sample the vineyard’s wares from a spacious tasting room or the outdoor terrace at ‘Jack’s Raw Bar’.
Wither Hills is an iconic Marlborough winery with spectacular views over the nearby Wairau Valley and a penchant for producing superb Pinot Noir from a wine portfolio that includes the ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.The stylish tasting room is an elegant blend of contemporary design and sophisticated comfort, while visitors can enjoy fine dining in the on-site restaurants or manicured lawn area complete with umbrellas during the summer and a roaring fire in winter months.The estate’s unique ‘vine library’ also lists every wine grape variety grown in New Zealand – 30 of which are lined up across the front of the winery.
Nestled in the vineyards just outside the town of Renwick, Forrest Estate is a family owned winery that promises an eclectic range of wines that are best enjoyed as part of a tasting tray of six in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.The grounds feature an industrial-styled chic tasting room as well as outdoor areas that can accommodate both summer and winter al fresco dining with a selection of simple and affordable food platters.The estate prides itself on providing informative discussions on the region’s wines and wine making processes and can be visited as part of the Marlborough Wine Trail.
If you are interested in visiting a Blenheim winery, contact Wine Paths’ local expert for more information and inspirational ideas before planning an exclusive bespoke visit to Marlborough.