A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in Marlborough

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Best wine tours in Marlborough

Why Visit Marlborough?

The name Marlborough has become synonymous with one of the most popular white wines in the world - it's unsurprising therefore, that the majority of visitors to the sunny northern tip of the South Island have a Sauvignon Blanc experience very firmly in mind. However, at the end of their long journey, travellers receive much more than they bargain for; like so many other regions of New Zealand, this is a stunning natural masterpiece blessed with resplendent coastlines, pristine turquoise bays, amazing gastronomy and endless blue skies, where it’s possible to lose yourself completely and have an incredible time doing so. 

Warning: the consumption of Sauvignon Blanc is of course a must here, so come prepared! Marlborough constitutes 77% of total New Zealand wine production, and the vast majority of that is the crisp, acidic Sauvignon that the world has come to adore. Visitors are spoilt for choice, and it’s possible to spend days on end working around the prolific number of wineries. Brancott Estate, New Zealand’s largest winemaker, is based here, looming over smaller yet no less significant competitors such as Saint Clair, Neudorf, Greywacke and Mud House Wines. Spend time with wineries both big and small to gain a true appreciation of the zeal and passion with which winemakers here approach their craft.

Marlborough is also renowned for the fabulous quality of its fresh seafood – unsurprising, really, as the region enjoys over 1,500 miles of spectacular coastline. Venture north-west from Blenheim into the Nelson Tasman area, where seafood menus are prolific and hungry diners are always assured of a good meal. Make sure you try the regional oysters and green-lipped mussels … and of course, we need say no more about the best wine pairing! A boat or kayak trip (both readily available from the towns of Picton and Havelock) will reveal the true extent of this beautiful place; spot five different dolphin species, fur seals and indigenous birds including Kiwis and rare cormorants.

The main regional town of Marlborough is Blenheim, the arrival point for most visitors and home to over thirty wineries within easy reach of the town centre. As always in New Zealand, great wine is accompanied by great food, and there is a wonderful selection of eateries on offer, from Brazilian and Asian cuisine to casual pub dining and delectable tasting menus. Blenheim is also notable for the great selection of luxurious, characterful accommodation on offer, from the five-star sumptuousness of the confidently-named Chateau Marlborough to a wide selection of intimate, welcoming motels and guesthouses.

Once you've eaten and drunk your fill, the famous Queen Charlotte Track is one of New Zealand’s most well-known trails for walkers and cyclists alike to burn a few calories, stretching for 45 miles along the craggy coastline of Queen Charlotte Sound. Navigating this beautiful track with lush forests on one side and cerulean sea on the other will push any thoughts of aching feet far from your mind. A range of accommodation is available at various stops along the road, from well-appointed campsites to luxurious lodges and apartments from where it’s possible to take full advantage of the incredible landscape.


Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Thanks to a little white grape named Sauvignon Blanc, the name Marlborough has become so definitive in the world of New Zealand winemaking that international wine drinkers often forget that the two are separate entities! The jewel in the crown of New World Sauvignon Blanc, the region has become the ultimate in aromatic, unctuous expressions of this popular grape – to the point where no sommelier around the world is left in any doubt about what to offer when the word ‘Marlborough’ is mentioned. This is by far the country’s most significant winemaking region, home to approximately 20,000 hectares of abundant vines which make up almost two thirds of the country’s total vineyard area. Sauvignon Blanc accounts for nearly 90% of all the grapes grown in the region, but it is also possible to find some really rather good Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir in Marlborough.
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Best time to visit

The days in Marlborough are long and sunny, with very little rainfall and mountain protection from the harshest extremes of ocean weather. In winter (June, July and August) the temperature can head towards freezing, so if you’re craving a balmy experience amongst glorious flowering vines, plan your trip between November and February.
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How long to stay

No journey around New Zealand would be complete without a visit to Marlborough - spend at least  2 or 3 days here as part of your New Zealand experience to enjoy the best that the region has to offer.

How to get there

Blenheim Airport receives numerous regional flights every day – it’s 1hr 30 minutes from Auckland, or just thirty minutes from New Zealand’s capital Wellington.
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