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Key Statistics Snapshot


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


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

2016 – The first International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration is held in Marlborough

2016 – Winepress Magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary


Year Growers Wine Companies Vineyard (ha) Tonnes
2007 530 104 21,200 120,888
2008 524 109 22,277 194,639
2009 560 130 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  329,572
2015 534  140  23,374  233,182
2016 534  141  24,020  323,290


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

Varieties (Marlborough)

Variety 2016 tonnes % Share by varietal
Sauvignon Blanc 277,358 85.8%
Pinot Noir 19,431 6%
Chardonnay 10,591 3.3%
Pinot Gris 10,504 3.2%
Riesling 2,535 0.8%
Other 2,871 0.9%
Totals 323,290 100.00%


  • 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
  • Māori refer to the region as “Kei puta te Wairau’ / The place with the hole in the cloud”


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
  • 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
Marlborough Silver Secateurs Late June/Early July
Marlborough Young Viticulturist of the Year July/National Finals August
Kaikoura Seafest First weekend in October
Marlborough Farmers’ Market Every Sunday
Nelmac Garden Marlborough First weekend in November
Marlborough A & P Show Mid November