The quaint Martinborough is at the centre of Wairarapa’s wine experience. Some of New Zealand’s best pinot noirs come from its family-owned vineyards.
Wairarapa is located in close proximity to Wellington and at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail that spans across four wine regions. While it has only 3% of New Zealand’s land under vine, Wairarapa boasts some of the country’s most iconic producers. Its internationally acclaimed wines are boutique in style and intensely flavoured. Wairarapa produces a wide range of varietals, but is noted most for its pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and aromatics.
Big skies, characterful towns and a vibrant wine-focused community define a Wairarapa wine experience. Wineries are located in close proximity in three main sub-regions – Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton.
Martinborough is the most prominent of the three Wairarapa sub-regions. Small in size, but huge in style, it is home to around 30 wineries that are mostly family owned. The wineries are within walking distance from Martinborough’s picturesque colonial town centre. Cycling is also a popular option for visitors flocking to the region to taste its world-renowned drops. The Martinborough Wine Centre is also a great spot to taste many wines from the region under one roof.
Gladstone has similar climatic and soil conditions to Martinborough. But unrestrained by town boundaries, its vineyards are more extensive. Yet they retain the region’s quintessential boutique style. The Masterton Plains are home to the first grapes planted in this region. Flavoursome sauvignon blanc thrives in its open environment.
Wairarapa celebrates its wine legacy with a number of festivals, including Toast Martinborough(opens in new window) (November) and Wairarapa Wines Harvest Festival(opens in new window) (March).