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Marlborough – Exploring New Zealand Wine Regions

Posted by Carey Schulz on

Marlborough Wine Growing Region

When it comes to wine growing regions of New Zealand, they don’t come much bigger than Marlborough. Renowned throughout the world for producing world-class Sauvignon Blanc, there is much more the Marlborough region than the zesty and aromatic white wine.

Marlborough is consistently ranked as one of New Zealand’s sunniest and driest regions making it the ideal place for vines to thrive. The area is well protected by the Richmond Ranges to the North and medium sized foothills to the south with the Wairau River bisecting the area. This combination of warm, dry weather and protection from the elements has seen the region’s vineyards thrive with over 20,000ha of vines in the Marlborough Region.

Where is the Marlborough Region?

For those who may be unfamiliar with New Zealand’s geography, the Marlborough Region can be found in the North East corner of the South Island and the growing regions are based around the major town of Blenheim. Within the Marlborough Region, there are three distinct growing areas: Southern Valleys (including Fairhall, Brancott, Ben Morvan and Waihopai Valley), Wairau Valley and Awatere Valley.

Although the Marlborough region is famed for its award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, other varieties also thrive in the region. Pinot Noir is going from strength to strength in Marlborough and grows well in the most southerly of the region’s growing areas, the Awatere Valley.

Also thriving in the region is Chardonnay and the aromatics including Pinot Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier which combined are now making up around 10% of the total wine grown in the Marlborough region.

Why are the wines so good from the Marlborough region?

Unlike the Central Otago region, the world’s most southerly wine growing region, Marlborough doesn’t face the same hurdles in terms of climate although there do have to be careful with winter and early spring frosts.

Like Central Otago, Marlborough is very fortunate when it comes to the free draining, moderately fertile soil that the vines love. Combine this with a dry sunny climate that is not too warm and you have created the perfect micro climate for producing award winning wines. As we have already uncovered, the Marlborough region is now almost subdividing into micro-regions and it is these micro regions that are allowing the wine growers in Marlborough to diversify and produce some exciting wines that are not traditionally associated with the region.

Some stats about the Marlborough Region

Here are just a few of the latest stats about the Marlborough region when it comes to our wines (data from 2014):

  • 22,907 total producing hectares in 2014
  • 17,725 hectares of Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2,492 hectares of Pinot Noir
  • 1,038 hectares of Chardonnay
  • 1,0386 hectares of Aromatics
  • Marlborough wines makes up a whopping 77% of New Zealand’s total wine production
  • The Marlborough Region receives an average of 2,409 hours of sunshine a year
  • It also receives an average of 655mm of rain each year

Our Wine Co-Op

As you can see, Marlborough wine makes up a huge proportion of New Zealand’s total wine production and here at New Zealand Wine Co-Op we are lucky to have Ant Moore wines with us who are based in the Marlborough region and producing some delicious wines including his Sauvignon Blancs. As our wine co-op continues to grow, we always seek out those wine makers who are as passionate about producing high quality wine as we are and we always try to bring our customers the best of what New Zealand has to offer.

We hope this has helped you to understand a bit more about the Marlborough Region and we encourage you to get involved and try some of the wine from the region.

If you have any questions, drop me a comment below and I will get back to you.





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