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Key Statistics Snapshot

Location

Latitude 41°30’S, pop. 43,035 (comparable latitude Douro Valley Portugal, but cooler)

History

1873 – First grapes planted by Scotsman David Herd in the southern valleys

1973 – Commercial planting began at Montana’s Brancott Estate at Fairhall

1980 – Marlborough Grapegrowers Association Incorporated established

1984 – Phylloxera outbreak first recorded and widespread by 1992

1985 – First Marlborough Wine & Food Festival

1986 – Oversupply of unsuitable varieties leading to Government sponsored vine pull

1986 – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (Hunters) awarded top three trophies at London International Wine Show

1992 – Wine Marlborough Limited formed as the trading company for Marlborough Winegrowers Association

2009 – 30th anniversary of the regions first Sauvignon Blanc vintage

2012 – Marlborough produces 72% of New Zealand’s 2012 vintage

2013 – 40th anniversary of Marlborough’s first commercial plantings

Size

Year Growers Wineries Vineyard (ha) Tonnes
2007 530 104 21,200 120,888
2008 524 109 22,277 194,639
2009 56 130 23,600 192,128
2010 605 130 23,920 183,000
2011 600 142 23,964 244,893
2012 600 142 23,964 188,649
2013 568 148 22,587* 251,680
2014 568 168 22,903
2015

* NZW survey data from membership, all previous years data is from Marlborough District Council

Varieties

Variety 2014 tonnes % Share by varietal
Sauvignon Blanc 282,608 85.75%
Pinot Noir 18,940 5.75%
Chardonnay 11,530 3.50%
Pinot Gris 10,670 3.24%
Riesling 3,044 0.92%
Other 2,780 0.84%
Totals 329,572 100.00%

Climate

  • On average 2,457 annual sunshine hours (6.73hrs/day). Hawkes Bay averages 2,281 hours
  • On average 649mm (25.5 inches) of annual rainfall fall in Marlborough
  • Moderate diurnal temperature change – commonly a 10°C / 50°F range
  • Maori refer to the region as “Kei puta te Wairau’ / The place with the hole in the cloud”

Geography

Sub Region Temp. Moisture
The Wairau Valley (Rapaura, Lower Wairau, Conder’s Bend, Renwick, Kaituna) Cool Dry
The Southern Valleys (Ben Morven, Brancott, Fairhall, Omaka, Waihopai) Cooler Dryer
The Awatere Valley (Blind River, Seaview, Redwood Pass) Coolest Dryest

 

Things to do in Marlborough…

Art, Culture and Heritage

  • Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
  • Local museums and galleries (Marlborough Museum, Marlborough Wine Museum, Millennium Art
  • Gallery)
  • Art and Craft Trail

Food and Wine

  • Dine in a winery restaurant
  • Visit an organic, biodynamic or sustainable winery
  • Cooking classes and food workshops
  • Mussel or salmon cruise in the Marlborough Sounds
  • Marlborough Farmers’ Market (Sundays in October till end of May)

Outdoor and Adventure

  • Marlborough Sounds cruise/dolphin watching or swimming
  • Visit the baby seal pups playing in the Ohau Stream waterfall at Ohau Point, 1hr 10mins south of Blenheim
  • Famous Mailboat Cruise (official NZ Post delivery service) in the Queen Charlotte Sounds
  • Day or longer hikes (Wither Hills, Marlborough Sounds, Pelorus River, Queen Charlotte Track)
  •  Sea kayaking and other boating activities
  • Mountain biking and cycle touring of the vineyards and Wither Hills Farm Park

Classic New Zealand Wine Trail

  • Marlborough is part of the Classic NZ Wine Trail which is a self-drive touring route around wineries that also leads you onto the Wellington, Wairarapa and Hawke’s Bay regions in the North Island.
Event Month
Picton Maritime festival Late January
Outdoor Cinema (French Film) at Clos Henri February
The MarlboroughWine & Food Festival Second Saturday in February annually
Winery Tours (Music at Winery) February or March
Havelock Mussel Festival Mid March
Forrest Estate Grape Ride Early April
Classic Fighter’s Air Show Easter every second year – from 2011
Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon Early May
Pinot at Cloudy Bay Mid June
Marlborough Silver Secateurs Late June/Early July
Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year July/National Finals August
Kaikoura Seafest First weekend in October
The MarlboroughWine Weekend Last weekend in October – every odd year
Marlborough Farmers’ Market Every Sunday November – April
Nelmac Garden Marlborough First weekend in November
Marlborough A & P Show Mid November