The town of Blenheim is an ideal base from which to explore New Zealand’s most influential wine growing region, Marlborough – where over 80% of the country’s wines are produced.
With an estimated average of almost 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, Blenheim is also among the most sun-kissed towns in New Zealand – while the imposing mountain landscapes that frame the area snare the heat to bring typically hot summers.Of the 141 wineries in Marlborough, 30 are within touching distance of the town making Blenheim wine tasting tours – by foot, bicycle or car – an increasingly popular way to explore the incredibly picturesque area.
The magical synergy between the climate and soil from the large river plains near Blenheim could have been forged by nature for the exact purpose of wine growing. Marlborough wines are denoted by their extraordinary purity and intensity of flavours, distinctive fruit characteristics and balanced acidity. When not taking part in Blenheim wine tastings, the town itself has a pleasing selection of bars, restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, artisan produce stores and golf courses.
Marlborough is renowned as the birthplace of the country’s signature Sauvignon Blanc, which brought New Zealand wine to the attention of the world during the 1980/90s and is still regarded by some critics as the finest in the world. No Blenheim wine tasting would be complete without sampling the region’s famed white varietal, although award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and methode traditionelle sparkling wines are among other grape varieties also successfully grown in the Marlborough.
It is often recommended that you choose a specific varietal during a wine tasting experience and sample only that as you visit a selection of cellar doors (tasting rooms), comparing the differences that nuances in sub-climates and terroir have on the wines produced. To fully appreciate the finest wine tasting Blenheim has to offer, Wine Paths also advise you visit between three to four wineries during a single day – while also exploring the magnificent countryside and dining at one of the region’s gastronomic restaurants.
Many of the wineries have their own on-site restaurants offering premium Blenheim wine tastings accompanied by delicious food pairings. These include the world renowned Brancott Estate, where the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in Marlborough and premium wines can be sampled from a state of the art cellar door perched seamlessly on the hillside with magnificent views over the surrounding vineyards.
The newly completed Brancott Estate Heritage Centre, is also an ideal place for dedicated enthusiasts to learn more about the history of the region’s wine – with an audio-visual experience telling the story of the brand and the pioneering nature of its founders and winemakers. Among the other recognisable international brands with estates near Blenheim are Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Constellation Brands and Oyster Bay – although many of the small, boutique vineyards offer more intimate and informal experiences.
It has been said that no wine anywhere in the world tastes like that from Marlborough. The magical synergy between the climate and soil from the large river plains near Blenheim could have been forged by nature for the exact purpose of wine growing. Marlborough wines are denoted by their extraordinary purity and intensity of flavours, distinctive fruit characteristics and balanced acidity. When not taking part in Blenheim wine tastings, the town itself has a pleasing selection of bars, restaurants, cafes, boutique shops, artisan produce stores and golf courses. There are also art galleries and award-winning gardens and parks, but the town is essentially a gateway to two of New Zealand’s most regarded tourist destinations – the Marlborough wine region and the Sounds.
Blenheim is within touching distance of the sea port of Picton, which is the gateway to the awe-inspiring Marlborough Sounds; a breathtakingly beautiful network of drowned valleys that offers incredible views as well as an assortment of sea faring activities including boat cruises, fishing trips, dolphin watching and sea kayaking.
If you are interested in enjoying Blenheim wine tasting, contact our local expert for more information and inspirational ideas before planning an exclusive bespoke visit
If you're interested in one of our New Zealand Wine Tours, please visit this link.