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Indulge

Marlborough, New Zealand wine trail

  • 2 minutes

@NaClachanWineTourMarlborough

Brilliant every day

Marlborough is the colossus in New Zealand’s wine production. Over three-quarters of total wine production happens in Marlborough. Over 70% of planted vineyards are in Marlborough. Brilliant sunny days and cool evenings create the award-winning sauvignon blanc, world-class pinot noir, and notable chardonnay with honorable mentions of riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot gris, and bubbly whites. Combine this with the sheer charm of an international wine region nestled in the quiet South Island of New Zealand, adjacent to the stunning beauty of the sheltered water of the Marlborough Sounds, you have winning ingredients for a holiday of a lifetime.

TIP

In Blenheim, Marlborough for a short time and want a taste of Marlborough brilliance, check out The Wine Station to sample the best the region has to offer. Located at the newly renovated heritage building – the Blenheim Railway Station. Barista coffee and craft beers are also available. Grab a gourmet platter to accompany over 80 wines available for tastings.

@Renwick Marlborough, NZ
@Renwick Marlborough, NZ

GETTING AROUND MARLBOROUGH WINERIES

The best way is with a tour operator who takes care of the driving and other pesky logistic details such as not driving while intoxicated. For active visitors who enjoy a day cycling the flat countryside Marlborough is an ideal location for a day outdoors biking around your chosen vineyards.

WHERE ARE MOST OF THE VINEYARDS?

The growing region is concentrated around Blenheim and Seddon towns. The soils in the Wairau Valley and the wine-growing districts surrounding Blenheim are primarily free-draining alluvial gravels. There are three sub-regions, Wairau Valley river flood plain (Blenheim), the Southern Valleys including north facing Wither Hills, and Awatere Valley around Seddon township.

NEED A HANDY ONLINE TOOL TO GET STARTED?

Looking for your favourite winery? The Marlborough Wine Trail is the best way to start the exploration of where to go. If you’re looking for a specific wine, try this handy wine search tool. The tool is an excellent reference for locals who wish to continue sourcing their new favourite with online shopping at their fingertips.

Marlborough Wine Region NZ Wine is a members association with a wealth of detail about Marlborough, the sub-regions as well as major producers, family owned vineyards and the boutique vineyards you are interested in visiting.

Early morning in a beautiful hillside vineyard in the Marlborough wine growing region of the south island of New Zealand @travellinglight
Vineyard in the Marlborough @travellinglight

WHERE TO FIND A MARLBOROUGH WINE GUIDED TOUR OPERATOR?

@NaClachanWineTourMarlborough
@NaClachanWineTourMarlborough
  • Look for an operator who offers both a cruise of the Marlborough Sounds and land-based tours
  • Find out if the operator has a pickup and drop off service for cyclists who wish to independently bike the vineyards
  • Find out the size of the tour as the smaller the number the more personalised the tour is
  • For a touch of luxury, there are private tour options when it is all about you and your preferences
  • Are you interested in a behind the scenes tour with winemakers then explore your options before booking
  • Find out whether you can put in requests for a specific winery

Check out Bubbly Grape Wine tours and see if you can squeeze in a brewery in the mix. Another well known favourite tour operator is Na Clachan Wine Tours. The family run business was awarded wine tour operator of the year in 2021.

GUIDED CYCLING MARLBOROUGH WINE TOURS ANYONE?

Explore Marlborough offers guided and self-guided bike tours. Their frequently asked questions offer important information such as, how fare are guests expected to bike?  The answer is a 10km circuit of flat and easy riding in our full day tour and less in our half-day tour. But don’t worry: we make sure the route is suited to the skill and fitness level of the group. A favourite question is, “I’ve not biked for years, will I cope?’ That probably applies to most of the guests on a bike tour from large city areas.

Check out the wineries visited and whether there is a pick up at the end of the day when you do not feel like biking to the depot. Those brilliant platters of food and glasses of wine are starting to have an effect…

Woman in a red dress riding a bicycle in vineyards. View of grapevines Shot in Blenheim, South Island, New Zealand.
Blenheim vineyards

For inspiration on what to do and see in Marlborough, check out Marlborough guide, things to do as well the What’s so great about Seddon and Top picnic, swim spots in Marlborough to sample your newly acquired bottle of sauvignon blanc.

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