Ask anyone about what they remember most about Marlborough and the answer will quite often be either Marlborough Wineries or the Marlborough Sounds. Both of these Marlborough attractions are not to be missed. Sunny days, cool nights and a dry climate make Marlborough ideal growing conditions for over 70 wineries in the region. World class Sauvignon Blanc and award winning Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir are amongst the many varieties available for tasting. A winery tour is much more than wine appreciation. Many Marlborough tours combine the wine tours with visits to local attractions, scenic highlights and historic homesteads.
A winery tour in Marlborough is just as much about the food as it is about the wine. Seasonal produce and seafood includes olives, stone fruit, asparagus, crayfish and mussels with the latter able to be explored further on a green shell mussel tour in Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds out from Havelock. Tours of the wineries can be taken in many forms including cycle tours, limousine tours, coach tours and self drive trails with the help of a designated driver. Meet the wine makers, relax in the courtyard for lunch and find out everything there is to know about the wine making process.
Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region due to the vast contrast between night and day temperatures. This unique climate produces the colour, vibrancy and crispness in grape growth that is paramount in producing a quality wine. The success of Marlborough’s wine growing industry is celebrated each year with the Marlborough Wine Festival held in February each year. Marlborough accommodation has combined well with the wine industry introducing a range of villas, cottages, bed and breakfasts and apartments that blend into the vineyard landscapes with style and cosy charm. It is not hard to find a place to stay with an open fire, snugly feather bed and gourmet farmer’s breakfast. Of course if you looking for budget accommodation there is plenty to be found in the form of backpackers, holiday parks and motels.
When you have completed your winery tour there are a variety of Marlborough Sounds yacht and boat charters to further enhance your holiday. Another Marlborough attraction not to be missed is The Queen Charlotte track. This track is among New Zealand’s top walks and widely recommended. The track can be walked or cycled and there are overnight accommodation stops along the way should they be required. Other Marlborough attractions and activities include fishing, diving, 4 wheel drive adventures, cultural tours, swimming with the seals and whale watching. A visit to the Marlborough wineries should be amongst the top ten on your New Zealand to do list.