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Renwick and nearby Blenheim form the “capital” of the Marlborough region, New Zealand’s largest wine producing area with production focused in the Wairau Valley to the north and the Awatere Valley to the south.
Not all Sauvignon Blanc is the same
Although Sauvignon Blanc is by far the most widely grown and best known varietal, Marlborough produces superb Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewurztraminer and increasingly good Pinot Noir.
And not all Sauvignon Blanc is the same. Many people are familar with the very aromatic, fruit driven and quite acidic “Kiwi style Sav” but New Zealand’s winemakers are creative and innovative and are producing some very elegant and sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc with hand-harvesting, indigenous yeast fermentation, oak ageing and lees contact.
Independent Family Vineyards
There are more than 50 wineries in the area and many are located in close proximity to one another so it is easy to visit them on a guided tour, by car or even on by bicycles. For many it is tempting to go with the obvious, the wineries seen on the supermarket shelves such as Cloudy Bay, Brancott Estate and Oyster Bay.
But there is so much pleasure to be found at the smaller independent producers which are usually family run. This is where you can get to meet the people who make the wine and taste an buy bottles that you may not even find elsewhere in New Zealand, let alone at home.
Some of our favourite wineries include Johanneshof, Hans Herzog, Seresin, Framingham, Wairau Valley, Dog Point and Te Whare Ra.
There are plenty of options for both independent cellar door visits and guided tours (so no worries about who is driving) and we’ll help you to plan your tasting to suit your own interests and preferences.
Following our initial meeting, Paul kept in regular contact by email and phone to update us on progress and to suggest further changes to refine our itinerary. Everything possible was done to make our trip special and enjoyable. Paul seemed to get as much of a kick out of planning our trip as we did. Thank you, Paul, for giving us the trip of a lifetime. June & Alan Watkinson
Red or White?
New Zealand’s wines are world famous and in demand, although for many people, and many supermarket shelves, New Zealand wine=Sauvignon Blanc. And the very aromatic, fruit driven and quite acidic “Kiwi style Savvy” at that.
This is a shame. Whilst Sauvignon Blanc is the country’s most widely planted varietal, it can also be argued that it is the least significant when compared to some of the truly outstanding and world class wines being produced by innovative, quality obsessed winemakers with an intimate understanding of terroir and tradition.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with the Cloudy Bay, Oyster Bay, Brancott and Villa Maria wines that we are familiar with, the real pleasure comes from finding the wines that you’ll rarely, if ever, see outside of New Zealand, and meeting and chatting to the people who made them.