The Burgundy of the South. When early Martinborough plantings were first tasted by wine experts, those experts were amazed by how similar they were to top Burgundy wines especially considering the vines were a mere 20+ years old. Martinborough wines are both powerful and nuanced, they show early drinkability, alongside incredible aging potential.
Martinborough is the driest region in the North Island, and vines that don't get too much water result in more concentrated flavors. The region is crisscrossed by ancient river beds providing gravel and alluvial soils that ensure the vine's roots dig deep to reach water. The mountains and hills surrounding Martinborough not only stop the rain, but the cool air from the top of the mountains comes down into the valley increasing the difference between the hottest part of the day and the coolest. This allows for long, slow ripening and the development of seriously complex flavors.
Martinborough Pinots have stood up against some of the best in the world due to an amazing combination of climate, soil, foresight and hard work. They remain a perennial favorite of wine critics and sommeliers around the world for good reason. If you love good Burgundy you’ve got to try some of these!
The towns have their own individual character and charm. Martinborough is the centre of the local wine industry where you can tour the vineyards while Greytown has an architectural charm.
Coming from Wellington, takes you over the winding Remutaka Hill road where the vista of the Wairarapa opens up before you – bush-clad ranges to the west across flat plains to a rugged coast on the east.
The Waiohine Gorge at the foot of the Tararuas is the gateway to tramping tracks into the ranges. Cape Palliser on the coast is home to the tiny fishing village of Ngawi with a colourful array of old bulldozers and tractors parked on the beach.