Marlborough is located on the Eastern side of New Zealand’s South Island. Acres of grape vines punctuate the rolling green hills and valleys rich in mineral deposits while fluffy white sheep dot the landscape like landlocked clouds. I was lucky enough to spend fives weeks in Marlborough and visit some of the countries most beautiful wineries.
Let me first preface that I take my wine seriously, not like some pompous snob, but with a sincere and genuine affection.
I was fortunate enough to live in Virginia wine country for six years, and visiting wineries is one of my favorite hobbies. I was familiar with New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs before I left on my trip and I was very keen to learn more.
The climate and soil of NZ’s Pacific hugging East Coast is unique among the island and turns out lovely wines. In fact more than 77% of all NZ wines are from this region, and the entire area is packed with vineyards. My palette was in heaven; with each tasting I savored Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Gris (same as Pinot Grigio just a different pronunciation) and lovely light bodied Pinot Noirs. I enjoyed the Pinot Gris’s the best. I have not tasted anything comparable.
Deliciously refreshing, you’ll experience a variety of floral notes such as honey, strawberry, melon, interwoven with tastes of fresh wood, and light minerals that typify the wines in this region.
For any wine lover, visiting Marlborough is a must see. Below are a few notable Vineyards visited on this trip:
Yealands was particularly interesting because it is the most environmentally conscious winery in New Zealand. 100% organic and as devoted to good wine as they are sustainability. The estate motto is: “Taste Boldly, Tread lightly and Never Say it can’t be done.” After having a tasting I bought a 2013 Pinot Gris and drove up to the outlook over the ocean. Friendly chickens (the local pest control agents) gently clucked around me and it was an utterly enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.
Their award winning: Pinot Gris and award-winning Gewurztraminer are not to be missed! Their property is smaller, but their cheese platter and lawn with comfy extra large pillows is a very relaxing way to enjoy your wine.
Saint Clair Family Estate
Out of the vineyards I visited this had the best restaurant – they even offered paired cheese/wine tasting (a combo that is as classic and Brad and Angie!). Try their reserve range Pinot Noir, it will remind you a Pinot Noir from Washington or Oregon, but better.
-Until my next adventure- Jo