Known for its distinctive Sauvignon Blanc wines that practically shout “Kia ora!” (Hello!) from the glass, New Zealand’s Marlborough region is tucked up on the northeast corner of the country’s South Island. Spanning an impressive 68,700 acres, Marlborough is responsible for producing over 60% of the country’s grape production.
The maritime climate and the free-draining, sandy alluvial soils work hand in hand to give the zingy acidity and complex flavours of tropical fruits, such as grapefruit with an underlying dash of herbaceous peppery notes.
While Sauvignon Blanc takes much of the limelight, some fabulous fleshy Pinot Noirs are born on the South Island too. Lucious, light red wines that are bursting with fruits such as morello cherry and perfumed by rose petals and lavender. Or you can get the complete opposite: intense savoury, forest-floor tastes, while remaining youthful and bright—a true art.
Apart from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, you’ll also find cooler-climate grapes such as Riesling and Pinot Gris in Marlborough. They produce wines that are leaner in style but offer fantastic tartness—they’ll certainly get your lips smacking, that’s for sure.
Image: Jules Taylor