Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc exploded on the wine scene late last century and has steadily gained momentum to become an internationally-recognised wine style and the biggest selling white wine in Australia, by a country mile.
Centred on two river valleys in the north east corner of New Zealand’s South Island – the Wairau and Awatere rivers - Marlborough is far and away the country’s biggest wine region, with more than 60% of New Zealand’s total vineyard area.
The best soils are alluvial, free-draining, silty shingles intermingled with stones and rocks. Seasons tend to be long and dry and irrigation is important, especially for establishing young vines. Long, sunny days promote the powerful flavours that are a signature of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and the lingering dry autumn is crucial to achieve full ripeness and flavour development. Cold nights incite the searing acid that is the other defining feature of Marlborough. Sauvignon Blanc yields can be very high and the wines generally have no wood treatment and are made to drink while young and fresh.
While Marlborough is virtually synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling are also planted here.
The spectacular Queen Charlotte Sound, a network of islands and peninsulas just north of Marlborough wine region, is a popular destination for walking, cycling, kayaking, boating and fishing.