Marlborough Wine Tasting – the perfect weekend away

A view out across the Marlborough vineyards.
A view out across the Marlborough vineyards. Photo credit: Explore Marlborough Guided Wine Tours

If you are looking for an exciting weekend away and you love your wine, then a trip to Picton should be on your list of things to do this year. Situated at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, Picton is a great place to base yourself for a number of trips and one of our favourites is a visit to the vineyards of the Marlborough region. When the sun is shining, there are few better places in New Zealand than the vineyards of Marlborough to sit back with a delicious glass of wine and soak up New Zealand in all its majesty.

About the Marlborough vineyards

The vineyards of Marlborough are a great place to have lunch.
The vineyards of Marlborough are a great place to have lunch. Photo credit: Explore Marlborough Guided Wine Tours

The Marlborough region is New Zealand’s biggest and most famous wine producing region (and we have a lot!). The region is internationally recognised for its world-class Sauvignon Blanc and the diverse soils and micro-climates mean that the Marlborough region is enjoying increasing success with other varietals. These include complex Chardonnays, dark cherry-driven Pinot Noirs, vivid aromatics and more.

The climate in the Marlborough region is perfect for wine production and combine this with the soil and that’s why the wines from this region are so good. Boating New Zealand’s highest sunshine average (around 2,409 hours of sunshine a year), the region’s long hot days and pure cold nights help to produce grapes that are bursting with flavour. The area is sheltered by mountains are around which not only helps with the grape growing, but also makes for a stunning backdrop to the many vineyards found in the region.

Wine Tasting Tours

A bike tour is a great way to explore the vineyards of Marlborough
A bike tour is a great way to explore the vineyards of Marlborough. Photo credit: Explore Marlborough Guided Wine Tours

Many of the vineyards in the region have cellar doors where you can rock up yourself and do some sampling. Some of these tasting sessions are free and others rely on you purchasing some of the wine you are tasting. The paid tasting are always good value (approx. $8 for a 5-6 wine tasting) so you have no excuses (unless you’re driving of course!). If however you want to ditch the car for the day, there are a number of tours in the area which mean you can go sampling without the worry of driving and we definitely recommend one of these tours.

One of the most popular is Explore Marlborough Guided Wine Tours. These guys provide some great options when it comes to touring the vineyards of Marlborough but our favourite has to be the wine tour by bike. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and there is something pretty special about cycling for vineyard to vineyard, seeing everything at a slower pace of life. There are options for a half or full day bike tour and as well as getting to sample some delicious wines, you will also learn more about the region and about the different varieties of grapes that grow in the region.

They do also offer a guided driving tour which are small and intimate (four people maximum) and these can be tailored to suit your tastes.

Accommodation

Blenheim is at the heart of Marlborough’s wine tasting region, however Picton is just a short 20-25 minute drive away and with good transport options, it’s a great place to base yourself, especially if you are planning on doing other things whilst you are down in the region. We have some great deal at the Picton Yacht Club Hotel as well as a great knowledge of the region.  Check out our Winter Warmer specials and book your trip today!

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