Marlborough is a paradise perched atop New Zealand’s southern island. In Māori legend it’s known as Te Tau Ihu o te Waka-a-Māui, the prow of Māui's canoe, from which he fished up the North Island. The tale has a sense of rightness to it because Marlborough is a land of discovery and bounty — a place where earth, sea and sky meet easily like old friends, and where people have always discovered wonders through hard work and good faith.
Bound on one side by the Pacific and on the other by the Tasman, sheltered by mountains, riddled with the narrow fingers of valleys and the delicate reach of streams and wetlands, the earth of Marlborough is what people in the wine world like to call ‘alluvial’ and ‘temperate’ — in other words, perfect for wine growing.
Historically, Marlborough has seen its share of conflict, as beautiful, fertile lands often have. It was prized by Māori and European settlers alike, as receptive to kumura fields as it was to the earliest grapevines planted in the late 19th century.
Around the world, Marlborough is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc — the full tropical fruit and peculiar grassy notes of New Zealand’s most distinctive drop. This is the known — that Marlborough is home to the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc — but those who work the land believe the true potential of Marlborough is still to be revealed and requires digging deeper, staying longer. This potential has everything to do with the varied and subtle changes of soil and climate that come with each bend in the river, each glade and dell. It has everything to do with a slow discovery of what’s unique, uncovered over years of patient working and watching and waiting.
Take the tour
Marlborough is waiting for you and the MANA Winegrowers welcome you to their place. Click here to view our recommended winery tour map.