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Martinborough Wine Region

World-Beating Wines from Martinborough

Martinborough, which is one of the three sub-regions of the Wairarapa wine region, is developing as an important wine region of the world.

Although this wine district is small it is found to be huge in terms of style and wines.

Martinborough wine region, New Zealand

This region is found to have a large number of vineyards producing various wines, especially some world famous boutique wines. The distinctive taste of wines from Martinborough is reflecting the perfect topography, geology, and human effort.

Wine grape varieties

All these factors are combining together to make Martinborough a perfect state of wines. Let’s discuss in detail about the wines from Martinborough here…

Transformation of Martinborough as a Wine Region

The Martinborough wine region lies in the southern part of Wairarapa of Wellington region.

It is located at about 65 kilometers to the east of Wellington which would take just 1.5 hours drive from there.

It is only recently this colonial town has been transformed into a world-famous wine region. From the year 1990, this region is grabbing some international awards for its high-quality wines.

It was only during the 1970s that this region was discovered to be the major site for vine cultivation. In the year 1978, the climate of Martinborough was compared to that of Burgundy region of France in a scientific report. Today, the wines and wine tourism are found to be the major contributor to the local economy.

Martinborough’s Viticultural Areas

Although this region has just 3% of the country’s vineyard land, this is still considered to be an important wine region of the country.

A major part of the wine growing area of Martinborough can be found on the Martinborough Terrace.

This is the raised plateau made of alluvial gravel that has come up due to the tectonic movements. These soils have a free-draining nature and hence, they are more suitable for viticulture.

The free-draining nature of the soils is restricting the hydration of the vines thus causing stress. These stressed vines are yielding smaller concentrated berries thereby enhancing the grape quality and in turn the wine quality.

The viticultural areas of Martinborough are enjoying a dry climate which is mainly because of the rain shadow of the hills that are surrounding the region.

The high sunshine hours combined with the low rainfall levels and cooler nights are perfect for the ripening of wine grapes. Moreover, these climatic conditions are adding a character to the wines that are produced here.

Alcohol and Distilleries

Pinot Noir – the Martinborough’s Flagship Wine

I would say that it is Pinot Noir that has made the Martinborough wines known among the wine lovers from across the globe.

The elegance, as well as the style of Pinot noir, made Martinborough wines to gain an international reputation.

The Pinot grapes that we get from Martinborough are quite different from those we get from Marlborough. These are found to be subtle and more complex. I would say that these characters are making them the world’s best Pinot Noirs!

Other Wine Grapes and Wines:

Although this region is more popular for its Pinot Noir variety it doesn’t mean that other grape varieties here are not good. The distinctive type of Sauvignon Blanc from this region is also growing in popularity for its fruity flavors and high mineral contents. Chardonnay of Martinborough is also really good with its elegant flavors.

In addition to the above-mentioned important grape varieties, the region also produces the following grape varieties:

  • Riesling
  • Pinot gris
  • Syrah
  • Merlot
  • Cabernets

It is to be noted that the wineries of Martinborough are continuing to be the forefront of sustainable vineyard management by achieving the formal international ISO standards, as well as the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand accreditation.

Therefore, I would say that it is worth tasting the Martinborough wines if you are a wine lover!



Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam


I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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