Video: the Marlborough wine region, the grower's story


Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine region, relies heavily on growers. Wine arrived here relatively lately (first vineyard plantings of the modern era were 1973, but things didn’t really get going in earnest until the mid-1980s), and much of the development has involved farming families here planting vineyards, in order to sell grapes to wineries.

I spent a day exploring with Mike Eaton, who has worked here since the 1980s and now acts as a vineyard consultant. He established the region’s first hillside, close-planted vineyard in 1991.

We take a look at some of the more interesting spots for growing wine grapes, beginning with the Ensors in the Waihopai Valley. We then visit the Hilles in the upper Brancott, and the Griggs in the Taylor River valley, before heading over to the Awatere Valley, where there are some really interesting vineyards.

2 comments to Video: the Marlborough wine region, the grower’s story

  • Can I just say a big “Thank you” for doing this?
    I have probably spent more time here than in any other wine region in Aotearoa, and I suspect that it is totally overlooked (or under hyped) versus some much smaller places. In the early part of my wine writing career I possibly focused more on Hawkes Bay, or Martinborough, but I have come to appreciate that Marlborough has lots of interesting stuff going on.
    Yes, it is our largest region. Yes, there is a real danger of it becoming a mono culture (or, for that matter, a duoculture.) Yes it boasts a lot of influence (is that the correct word?) of the big, multinational drinks companies.
    But Marlborough is also a place of hidden gems and friendly people (even if they all do not necessarily agree with one another.)

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