Get to Know Marlborough
What is it?
Marlborough is a growing region on New Zealand’s South Island that is famous for producing Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough comprises 70% of all New Zealand growing area and is now almost synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc. The dry, cool climate extends the growing season and allows the grape’s natural acidity to shine through with notes of citrus and gooseberry.
Climate and Geography:
Marlborough is situated in the far North point of New Zealand’s South Island. Blenheim is the main city and acts as the starting point for anyone visiting the region. The climate is generally sunny and dry with mild days and cool nights. The mountain ranges either side provide protection from extreme weather conditions making the region perfect for viticulture.
What does it taste like?
Marlborough is now the marquee region for Sauvignon Blanc production worldwide. Although other varietals such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and increasing amounts of sparkling are produced, Sauvignon Blanc is still, by far, the major varietal with 85% of the vineyard area. Sauvignon Blanc from here has less minerality and “green” character than other regions. This is due to the longer ripening season allowing the more citrus fruit to shine through. “Marlborough Sauvs” are famous for their fresh grapefruit and gooseberry character.
What does it pair with?
The lean mouthfeel, fresh acidity and distinct citrus notes make it a great pairing with fish and other seafood. Also creamy pasta sauces, mild cheeses and falafel based dishes work well.
Marlborough is a very young wine region. The first plantings were as recent as 1973 by what is now Brancott Estate. Brancott now proudly claim to have produced the first “Marlborough Sauv”!
The Maori people call Marlborough ‘Kei puta the Wairau’ which translates as ‘the place with the hole in the cloud’, which illustrates how sunny Marlborough really is.