Marlborough makes no secret of the fact that it's one of the easiest places to grow grapes for wine in New Zealand. Its Maori name is ‘Kei puta te Wairau’ meaning ‘the place with the hole in the cloud’, an appropriate description for what is one of the sunniest spots in the country!
Marlborough has around 70% of New Zealand’s total vineyard area, and around 75% of its total production. Approximately 25,000 hectares out of a total of its 29,000 hectares is taken up with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. It’s the New Zealand home of Sauvignon Blanc, and indeed, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is renowned internationally for having its own distinctive style; intensely aromatic, passionfruit and gooseberry flavours, with a lively racy acidity.
The vast majority of the Marlborough wine region is dominated by the wine industry heavyweights that control the bulk of production, shipping vast quantities of flexitank wine to Europe and beyond. There are many boutique producers who fly the flag for Marlborough as a serious contender for finely produced, outstanding quality wines.