The Marlborough wine region punches well above its weight worldwide and is a can’t-miss stop when you hire a campervan in the South Island. Nestled at the top of New Zealand’s South Island, Marlborough isn’t just a place; it’s a taste, a scent, a colour, and a story. For those who’ve packed their bags, set their hearts to adventure, and have the keys to a Kia Ora Camper in their pocket, this is your guide to the must-visit wineries in Marlborough.

A Liquid Gold Rush in Marlborough

Marlborough’s rise to world-class wine fame began with a bold experiment in the 1970s, as local visionaries planted the region’s first Sauvignon Blanc vines. Little did they know, they were igniting a global phenomenon.

Marlborough’s success can be attributed to an ideal blend of geography and human ingenuity. The region’s sheltered environment between mountain ranges reduces weather risks, while generous sunshine allows a long grape ripening period crucial for developing intense flavours and aromatics.

But the terroir’s magic goes beyond climate. Marlborough’s ancient, gravelly loam soils stress the vines just enough to yield smaller berries packed with concentrated flavours. These exceptional growing conditions allow grapes to thrive and produce wines that capture the remarkable convergence of human ambition and nature’s bounty.

Marlborough’s wines tell the story of this special alchemy with every sip. What began as an experiment has blossomed into a global sensation, with Marlborough’s Sauvignon Blancs leading a New Zealand wine renaissance.

Marlborough wine region - Grapes on a vine at a vinyard

Must Visit Wineries in Marlborough

Cloudy Bay – Where Marlborough’s Modern Wine Tale Began

Cloudy Bay is a cornerstone of Marlborough’s wine history. Founded in 1985, it quickly became the flagbearer of the New Zealand wine industry, particularly with its Sauvignon Blanc, which boasts a vibrant spectrum of flavours from zesty lime to juicy passionfruit. The journey here is an experience to remember. Its cellar door, a modern architectural marvel, is more than just a gateway to fine wines; it’s a symbol of elegance and excellence. Here, amidst the serene landscape, one can indulge in tailored tasting experiences, relishing the bold and expressive wines that capture the essence of Marlborough.

Brancott Estate – Pioneers Turned Icons

Brancott Estate, the birthplace of Marlborough’s first Sauvignon Blanc vine, is a testament to innovation and tradition. The Estate’s history dates back to 1973, marking a revolution in the winemaking industry in New Zealand. The winery, with its contemporary cellar door and heritage centre, offers an interactive journey through the history of Marlborough wines. The highlight? Its world-famous Sauvignon Blanc captures the vibrant, crisp, and refreshing characteristics of the region. A visit here isn’t complete without soaking in the panoramic views from their terrace, a visual feast that complements the sensory delight of their wines.

Wairau River Wines – A Family Affair

Nestled in the heart of the Marlborough region, Wairau River Wines, established in 1978, exudes a warm, familial charm. The Rose family, with their deep-rooted passion for winemaking, have created a portfolio that ranges from the classic Sauvignon Blanc to complex Chardonnays and elegant Pinot Noirs. The family’s commitment is reflected in their hands-on approach to winemaking and viticulture, focusing on producing wines that speak of their terroir. Once a family farmhouse, the tasting room provides a cosy, welcoming atmosphere that invites visitors to linger and explore the intricate stories behind each wine.

Fromm Winery – For the Organic Enthusiast

Fromm Winery stands out for its commitment to organic and biodynamic practices. Since its establishment in 1992, Fromm has been dedicated to creating wines that are expressive of the vineyard’s natural environment. Its approach to winemaking is artful and thoughtful, with a focus on minimal intervention. The result is a range of wines that are pure, vibrant, and full of character. The winery offers an intimate and informative tasting experience, ideal for those who wish to delve deeper into the world of organic and biodynamic wines.

Villa Maria – A Story in Every Glass

Villa Maria, an emblem of sustainability and innovation, has been crafting wines since 1961. Its approach combines traditional methods with modern technology, ensuring that each bottle reflects the richness of Marlborough’s environment. The cellar door, nestled in a stunning natural landscape, offers an educational and engaging tasting experience. Visitors can explore a wide range of varietals, each showcasing the distinct flavours and aromas of the region. The winery’s commitment to environmental stewardship is evident in every aspect of its operation, making a visit here enlightening and enjoyable.

Raise a Glass to the Perfect Campervan Holiday

As you drive from vineyards to coastlines, let the Marlborough region’s wines tell you their stories. Each vineyard visit, each glass you raise, is not just a taste but an experience, a memory, a moment in time you’ll cherish long after the last drop. Cheers to Marlborough, where every bottle is a journey, and every sip is a destination!

If you’re interested in experiencing some of the must-visit wineries in Marlborough, grab your campervan hire from our Christchurch location, and then it’s only a short trip up the road to one of the best wine regions in the world.