For wine drinkers the world over, the slightest mention of the name “New Zealand” is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc. While other wine regions across the country are producing award-winning varietals (such as the Central Otago Pinot Noir), it’s the Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough Vineyards that oenophiles can’t stop talking about. More than just the wine, however, the Marlborough vineyards are set among rolling hills that stretch their way out towards the Marlborough Sound. Within the span of 30 minutes you can be sipping wine beneath a terrace, and moments later be walking along a shoreline that is hidden in a tucked-away cove. Despite the fame of the Marlborough vineyards, this corner of New Zealand is still blissfully undeveloped and makes for a relaxing wine tasting holiday.
When visiting the Marlborough vineyards, most wineries are within a few miles of the regional hub of Blenheim. Though the town itself has an industrial feel, it’s close enough to the surrounding vineyards that you can reach many vineyards by bicycle. To taste at vineyards in a larger radius, there are numerous wine tours that comfortably transport you from one boutique winery to the next. The Marlborough vineyards are also located just a short distance from Picton, so cruise passengers with a ship in port can reach the vineyards with relative ease. Or, for those travelers who are touring their way around New Zealand, the Marlborough vineyards are only a few hours from Kaikoura on a beautiful drive down the coastline, where another two hours will bring you to the center of the teeming city of Christchurch.
So while the South Island of New Zealand has various wine regions which are gaining their share of prominence, the Marlborough vineyards will forever be where it all began.