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Whether you are a wine-lover or a casual wine-drinker, a visit to New Zealand isn't complete without a tour of the Marlborough wine region. Combining wine culture with the warmth and friendliness of New Zealand hospitality, we really enjoyed our visit to the Marlborough region. Making for an even more memorable experience was our private wine tour of the area.
Located on the to of the south island, Marlborough is easily accessible by plane, train, car, bus, or ferry. Once you arrive in Marlborough, you may opt to drive yourself around to the wineries; however, we don't recommend doing that if you plan to sample the wines. It is much more convenient to have a driver who knows where they are going!
There are many options for wine tours in the area. Group tours are a lot of fun because you can meet other travelers with similar interests - and we love making new friends wherever we travel. But if you prefer flexibility in your tour and more personal attention, then a private tour is for you.
During our recent visit, we were taken out on a private wine tour by Chris from Na Clachan Wine Tours. The experience was much better than we ever could have imagined. The tour is extremely flexible, and our guide did an awesome job at getting to know us and our preferences. There was no set itinerary, and as we progressed throughout the day, our guide paid close attention to our preferences as we sampled wines. He modified the tour on the fly to appease our interests…and he was very good at his job!
We absolutely loved every place that we visited, and we found some of our favorite wine that we have ever tasted during our trip (which we will now have to find back home in the States!). Another aspect about the tour which was beneficial was how much we were able to learn. We truly love learning about anything and everything when we travel. So even though we weren't experts with regards to wine, we felt SO much more knowledgeable by the end of our private tour.
Our guide explained the history of the New Zealand wine industry, and unique characteristics about the wine produced in the area. We learned about trimming styles, pressing methods, etc. It was all quite fascinating! Plus, we had a lot of fun chatting with our guide during the day - and he made us feel very comfortable with asking as many questions as we wanted.
Our experience on a Marlborough wine tour is something that we will never forget. And while we would recommend group tours as well, we highly recommend that you splurge for a private tour -- especially if there are a few of you in a group who can split the cost. You will have a wonderful time with your guide and get an experience tailored especially to your interests.
For more details about our day with Chris, our private guide, click here to read our complete review (warning: there is a LOT of wine talk in the article!)