Just an hour’s drive from Wellington is Martinborough, a boutique wine region which produces around 1% of New Zealand’s wine.
I’ve rounded up the best Martinborough wineries, but certainly the super helpful Information Centre near the Square can provide you with advice to make the most of your time in Martinborough.
Confusingly Luna Estate has two addresses – the larger one regularly hosting events such as weddings and the smaller being the site of a restaurant and cellar door for tastings.
The tasting cost $10 per person, refunded with a wine purchase. We were able to get a table without a booking at around 11am on a Saturday where the attentive waitress explained each of the wines very thoroughly.
We took away a bottle of the Estate Sauvignon Blanc, with the Estate Reisling being another firm favourite.
In my opinion Poppies is the best Martinborough winery to visit for lunch. You need to book at least three weeks in advance and offer a beautiful tasting platter. The venue looks like beautiful place to hold a wedding and the charismatic Poppy, the winemaker the winery is named after runs tastings along with her staff.
It was the Poppies Pinot Gris that we choose to drink with our platter. We also took a bottle home.
Tiro Hana Estate
I’d recommend Tiro Hana Estate winery for desert and a look in their Emporium. It’s a stately building with several rooms. They don’t offer wine tasting during lunch hours.
Margrain does a very generous tasking – $10 or $15 per person depending on how many wines you’d like to try and they allow sharing should the driver want a sip or two. The tasting price is waved with a wine purchase of $50 or more.
The bubbles was my favourite here and we took away a bottle of the Margrain Chenin Blanc and a Margrain Cut Cane Chenin Blanc dessert wine.
Te Kairanga Wines
As well as wine tastings Te Kairanga Wines is home to Lighthouse Gin.
Where else to visit in the Wairarapa
Over summer months I’ve visited Castle Point and Stonehenge Aotearoa. I’ve walked The Pinnacles Track spent time on the deck of the White Swan, splashed in the Greytown Pool and discovered where to buy the best fruit ice cream.
Small towns like Greytown (which reminds me of Stars Hollow and comes with it’s own micro-climate temperature), just over an hour out of Wellington offers a dose of quieter living with wine, beaches and scenic walks in it’s vicinity.
I guess I’m starting to understand why people choose to commute to cities from so far away.
We headed home via a quick stop at C’est Cheese in Featherson – a small shop with an amazing selection of cheeses.
If reading about New Zealand wine regions is of interest you may appreciate my previous posts on the best New Zealand Wineries to visit, New Zealand Food and Wine Festivals, and the unique wine regions of Marlborough and Waiheke Island.