MARLBOROUGH, New Zealand
Marlborough is New Zealand’s premier wine region, the quintessential home of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, that wonderful herbaceous, grassy and often pungent wine that is delightful on its own or will pair up nicely with a multitude of cuisines.
The history of grape growing in the Marlborough region dates back to the late 1800s, but it was in 1986 that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 'leapt' onto centre stage capturing international interest and becoming the focus for wine connoisseurs and consumers alike.
Perched on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Marlborough flaunts approx. 23,600 hectares of vine plantings, the majority of these are found in the lovely Wairau and Awatere Valleys. Being one of the sunniest and driest areas in New Zealand, Marlborough also has relatively cool climate conditions, providing the grapes with a long slow, flavour-intensifying ripening period. The average summer temperature is a pleasant 24 degrees C with the nights being on the clear cool side fluctuating some 10 degrees.
The unique terroir of the Marlborough region features a variety of soil compositions. These vary from alluvial free-draining, to a more clay/ loam soil as found in the Southern Hills or a silt/loam combination as located nearer to Cloudy Bay and the sea.
Marlborough however isn’t just home to our fine Sauvignon Blanc, but also grows delightful Pinot Noir.
It is a truly superb location... and one to be popped on the ‘must-visit’ list, especially if you are one that enjoys the ‘wine experience’.
NELSON, New Zealand
Situated at the top of the South Island, Nelson is found on the north west coast in one of the sunniest spots in New Zealand. The township of Nelson is nestled on the shores of Tasman Bay and is a home to a raft of artists and craftspeople alike. It is also another superb region for wine production and particularly suited to the Pinot Noir grape.
The Waimea Plains have stony soils from alluvial origin that are free draining, this plus the sunshine with a moderating maritime influence produces a rather sumptuous savoury Pinot Noir that is well structured with good fruit intensity.
Nelson has generally the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand with summer day temperatures averaging at 24 degrees with a night low of anything from 12 - 14 degrees..
Relax and enjoy the sun at one of the many local vineyard cafes. A tasty lunch of the famous Nelson Bay Scallops with a glass of something special sounds inviting or perhaps a walk on the sun drenched sands of Golden Bay.
Whatever takes your fancy there is much to interest the discerning traveller. A Nelson sojourn is a wine experience to be savoured.
CENTRAL OTAGO, New Zealand
Central Otago located in New Zealand’s South Island is the world’s highest and most southerly wine growing region. Ringed by snow-capped mountains, Central Otago has breathtakingly beautiful scenery with crystal clear lakes shining blue, to fast flowing rivers and deep gorges. The terrain is often rugged and undulating, but is absolutely stunning in its diversity and splendour.
It is New Zealand’s and possibly the world’s most spectacular wine growing region the climate being particularly suited to the grape variety, Pinot Noir.
The inland mountainous location provides a semi-continental climate with very cold winters, hot summers, cool nighttime temperatures and very low rainfall. This unique climate combined with the mostly glacially derived soils, with rich deposits of mica and schist, is ideally suited to Pinot Noir (80% of the plantings), producing expressive and elegant wines. The wines of Central Otago have a purity, intensity and vibrancy reflective of the region's terroir and pure mountain air.
The region is also recognised as producing a variety of well-regarded cool climate white wines including Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
If you relish Alpine sports or are a ‘white water rafting’ enthusiast, Central Otago has much to offer. The scenery is literally stunning, but then, so is the wine. Please don’t leave home without your camera. Enjoy!