Martinborough / Wairarapa
Although a small region, there’s no doubt about the fact Martinborough packs a punch. Producing some of New Zealand’s most acclaimed wines and garnering a large following. The regions first vines were planted back in 1883, but it wasn’t until 1970 that heads started to turn and Martinborough was competing on the world stage. The region features a diverse selection of wines, but the silt loam and gravelly sub-soils of the Martinborough Terrace ensure pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes flourish.
The areas three sub-regions; Martinborough, Masterton and Gladstone and have similar grape varieties planted, but the differing terroir of each brings out unique flavours. The Wairarapa makes up 3% of New Zealand’s total production. This number is contributed to by the fact vineyard yields in the area below the national average, this alone is a large contributor to the regions success.
While Martinborough is a small colonial village with many of the producers in the area being family owned and run. Only a short drive north of New Zealand’s’ capital city Wellington, the area is well situated as has earned the reputation as the wine hub of the Wairarapa. Gladstone is a little south of Masterton, Wairarapa’s largest town and is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country, luckily for us, it has plenty of room to grow!
Wairarapa is one of the coolest and driest areas in the north island, with climate and soil conditions similar to that of Burgundy, it’s no surprise that the wines produced in the area are some of New Zealand’s finest.