Marlborough wineries have undoubtedly been among the most prestigious in New Zealand ever since the region put the country on the international map with its classical Sauvignon Blanc – that is regarded by some critics as the finest in the world.
Spanning over 20,000 hectares across the north-eastern section of the South Island, Marlborough is by far New Zealand’s largest wine growing region and remains responsible for almost 80% of the country’s entire production. There are over 141 Marlborough wineries ranging from the most recognisable names in New Zealand viticulture, such as Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Brancott Estate and Oyster Bay, to small boutique estates renowned for their artisan wines.
At Wine Paths, we can organise exclusive tours of the best wineries in Marlborough, including elaborate tastings, luxury stays, fine dining experiences and some unique outdoor activities. Using local experts, all of our private tours can be tailor made to meet your exact requirements, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the matter at hand… sampling world class wines in the company of stunning natural beauty.
Among the top Marlborough wineries in our portfolio is the Cloudy Bay Vineyards, arguably New Zealand’s most well-known export label that covers a diverse collection of wine styles ranging from their flagship Sauvignon Blanc to critically acclaimed Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and sparkling varieties. Named after an opaque body of water that was discovered by Captain James Cook on his voyage of discovery in 1770, Cloudy Bay is partly responsible for establishing New Zealand’s wine reputation after creating its first Sauvignon Blanc in 1985.
Unique among wineries in Marlborough, Cloudy Bay also produces Te Koko, a full-bodied alternative style Sauvignon Blanc that has been matured in French oak barrels and undergone a complete malolactic fermentation. Cloudy Bay wines are exported to 20 countries worldwide, including Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Europe and Japan, as well as welcoming wine tourists with a spacious cellar door as well as outdoor terrace tastings at ‘Jack’s Raw Bar’.
Held in equally high regard among the best wineries in Marlborough NZ is the Brancott Estate – where the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted to change the course of New Zealand’s wine making history. Boasting spectacular views across the region, the estate also features a state of the art Cellar Door and on-site restaurant that were designed by Fearon Hays to seamlessly blend into the natural landscape
As part of a tour of Marlborough wineries, you will given the opportunity to sample to a wide range of still and sparkling styles from grape varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Merlot and Chardonnay.
Wineries in Marlborough are clustered between the two valleys of Awatere and Wairau, with most of the established vineyards concentrated in the latter. Referred to in native Maori as ‘the place with the hole in the cloud’, Wairau Valley is one of the country’s most sunny and dry regions. The Awatere Valley, meanwhile, lies south inland from the sea climbing towards the Kaikoura mountain ranges where the cooler climate creates lower yields of bright aromatic styles including the ubiquitous Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Despite its relatively small size, Marlborough has been embraced by international audiences after only the last few decades. If you are interested in exploring Marlborough wine tours, contact our local travel expert for more information and inspirational ideas to create a bespoke itinerary.