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 Filed as : Regional SpotlightNew Zealand

Marlborough Country

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  • Publish Date: Apr 20, 2010

Sauvignon Blanc is king in New Zealand's biggest wine region. Seventy-five percent of Marlborough's 16,000-plus hectares are planted with this grape, and with good reason: The unique, picturesque terrain produces a crisp, refreshing white that can be duplicated nowhere else.

Even if white wine isn't your thing, Marlborough is still a sight to behold. The lush, green vineyards hug a beautiful, curling river that stretches from deep inland out to sea. There are dark, imposing mountains to the north, and barren, dry foothills to the south. All this combines to create a sunny, temperate, free-draining landscape that's tailor-made for growing cool-climate grapes.

Marlborough's tasting rooms are refreshingly free of commercialism and rowdy bachelorette parties. Spend a few days here, and you might not see a single tour bus. (Sheep, on the other hand, can be seen in droves, sometimes even walking down the middle of the road--watch your speed.)

If you make the journey here, be sure to allow time for Seresin, owned by Hollywood cinematographer Michael Seresin (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). The biodynamic winery even makes its own olive oil, which you can taste along with the wines.

But you're best served starting the day across the street at Grove Mill. There you can kick things off with a sensory experience: Smell grass, passion fruit and a few other things that will reveal themselves in the Sauvignon Blancs you taste throughout the day.

Have a winery you'd recommend in Marlborough? Share it below.

Previous Sip



The Thirsty Girl
Battle of the New Zealand Bays

Apr 21, 2010
Also try Staete Landt...Dorien and Ruud produce wonderful Sauvignon Blanc among other varietals! Alana Estate in Martinborough (close to Marlborough but on the North Island) offers wonderful examples of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. While most are single vineyard, Alana also offers a terrific Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc available in the US. In the interest of disclosure, I am co-owner of Alana and represent the vineyard in the US. Cheers!

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Apr 20, 2010
Here in Marlborough region now. Don't miss Clos Henri Vineyard, their Sauvignon Blanc is great as is the Clos Henri Pinot Noir. Loved the vineyards at Cloudy Bay, and Allen Scott lovely winery with restaurant is beautiful. Across the street in the same vineyard is Gibb's Vineyard Restaurant, rustic bistro, great food. If you haven't tasted a Riesling, Pinot Gris or Gerwurstraminer, from this region, they will suprise you, nothing like German versions, not sweet at all. The Gerwurtstaminer has great nose, with just a touch of sweatness, great with Thai food I bet. It is autumn here now, the colors are glorious. The food is wonderful, the wines are great, so far it's someplace to put on your list of regions to travel to.

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Apr 20, 2010
I definitely agree with the Kim Crawford, endless pink grapefruit. Another I don't find much in stores is Babich winery Sauv. Blanc. Very complex, fruit and also mineral finish. Pairs great with the hot pepper mango chutney from Papiamento in Aruba.

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Apr 20, 2010
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is worth drinking. The 2008 received 91 points from Wine Advocate, and it's $13. BUT it's really the taste that makes it the value. I've had others that were more expensive with high acclaim that didn't stand up to it; however that's my opinion... but it's $13...

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Apr 22, 2010
Totally agree, Chris. Someone else commented about it
as well on today's Sip!
 
Apr 20, 2010
A couple suggestions on Marlborough wineries. Nothing beats the cafe at Highfield -- try the sampler platter with one of their crisp dry white wines. For nice tastings, try Fromm or Villa Maria. Great wine and a friendly knowledgable staff at each. With the region growing so rapidly though, get out and explore all of them! Then take a short drive up to Nelson and start again . . .

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Apr 20, 2010
Villa Maria is a great value and fairly easy to find in
the US as well.
 
Apr 21, 2010
Robert: Very much agreed. Highfield rocks. Been several
times and just eat, drink and soak in the view. I also
love Fromm since the wines are so different from
everything else around there (even if they're not for
everyone). I especially dig the Syrah. Absolute killer
of a black pepper aroma on it -- so unique.
 
Apr 21, 2010
Robert: Very much agreed. Highfield rocks. Been several
times and just eat, drink and soak in the view. I also
love Fromm since the wines are so different from
everything else around there (even if they're not for
everyone). I especially dig the Syrah. Absolute killer
of a black pepper aroma on it -- so unique.
 

What is the French word for vat or tank?

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