It has been said that there is no wine anywhere in the world that tastes like the wine of Marlborough – the balance of extraordinary purity and intensity of flavours set around impressive aroma, distinctive fruit characteristics and appealing balanced acidity is superb. These are stylish, exciting wines that surprise and delight.
What is it that makes the wines of Marlborough so distinctively exquisite? As with any of the great wine making regions of the world, the answer lies in a magical synergy of climate and soil, underpinned by our desire to express this unique terroir. Here in the north-eastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east and towering mountain ranges in the hinterlands to the north and south, a broad alluvial plain stretches from the coastline, gradually rising into narrow valleys with favourable northerly aspects. Ours is a diverse landscape of spectacular natural beauty and bounty.
In past centuries Maori hunted moa here and cultivated vast kumara crops in the year round sunshine. Early European settlers established New Zealand’s pastoral industry on the fertile rolling downs of the river valleys. In 1873, long before the modern day vintners recognised the extraordinary potential to produce great wine in this region, pioneering Scottish farmer and grape grower David Herd planted Marlborough’s first vineyard. It was to be another 100 years before that vision took root with the development of viticulture in Marlborough on a commercial scale.
Today Marlborough is recognised as one of the premium wine regions of the world. New Zealand’s leading wine region, Marlborough draws international acclaim that far outweighs its size. In the span of just a few decades, winemakers have embraced this small, yet geographically diverse region, exploring the nuances offered by its landscape to craft exhilarating flavours in many different wine styles.
Each expresses the indelible mark of place that is Marlborough.
Hawke's Bay is New Zealand's oldest and second largest wine region with beginnings in 1851. It is the largest premium red wine producing region in the country with over 80% of the national vintage for both Cabernet Merlot and Syrah. Chardonnay and Cabernet Merlot varieties make up 50% of the total annual vintage. Approximately 50% of the vintage is white wine and 50% red wine.
Located at 39.4° South (the same as Madrid in the North), Hawke’s Bay is one of the hottest and sunniest areas of New Zealand. A maritime climate, free draining soil types with natural low fertility, prevailing hot dry north westerly winds, low rainfall and a long growing season provide for a range of vineyard sites suitable for a diversity of varieties. Over 25 different soil types make up the 4,947 wine producing hectares in Hawke's Bay.
Hawke's Bay has the highest percentage of Sustainable Winegrowing NZ (SWNZ) accredited wineries in the country. Of the 172 vineyards in the region, 70% are SWNZ accredited. Hawke's Bay is committed to this independently audited sustainability programme and these numbers will increase.
Combining new world fruit flavours with old world structure, Hawke’s Bay red wines are unique and elegant. Competitive in quality to world class red wines everywhere and competitive in price against the ultra premium wines of the world, Hawke’s Bay has grown to be the home of over 80 wineries and 170 wine grape growers. History, consistency, diversity and innovation continue to provide the foundation for Hawke’s Bay’s reputation as a quality producer of world class wines.