Nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, Martinborough beckons wine enthusiasts and wanderers alike to explore its exquisite wineries. Known for its exceptional Pinot Noirs and Sauvignon Blancs, this charming village has earned a reputation as a haven for wine lovers. The wineries in Martinborough offer a delightful blend of history, innovation, and terroir, making them a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through the best wineries Martinborough has to offer, ensuring an unforgettable tasting experience.
Best Martinborough Wineries
Martinborough boasts an impressive selection of over 20 cellar doors, each with its own unique style and charm. To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve compiled a list of the best Martinborough wineries, ensuring a delightful and elegant tasting adventure.
Vynfields Wine and Homestays
Nestled in the heart of Martinborough, Vynfields Wine and Homestays is a haven dedicated to the art of crafting premium Pinot Noir using handcrafted, traditional methods. Their commitment to quality is exemplified by their certification as an organic vineyard since 2006.
Experience a tranquil environment where wine and serenity coalesce seamlessly. Vynfields’ peaceful vineyard, alongside a charmingly restored Edwardian villa, beckons visitors year-round. During the warmer months, take delight in the lush garden, where the ambiance of organic vines creates the perfect backdrop for relaxation. Alternatively, explore the wine bar for an exquisite tasting experience, complemented by delectable snacks.
In the winter months, the antique-adorned lounge, graced by an open fire, offers warmth and comfort. This very lounge was once the site of silver service banquets for dignitaries, including Prime Ministers and Paramount Chiefs during the 1950s.
While Vynfields is no longer actively producing wine, you can still savor and procure their cellar’s treasures. For those seeking a charming stay, the top three rooms provide comfortable accommodation with a shared bathroom, ensuring a delightful and restful retreat.
- Location: 22 Omarere Road, Martinborough, Martinborough 5711, New Zealand.
The Elder Pinot
Nestled amidst the picturesque old river terraces of the Ruakokapatuna River lies Hanson Winery, a haven for those who seek the uncompromised quality of The Elder Pinot. In 1996, Mike and Margaret Hanson embarked on a quest to find the perfect plot of land, intending to purchase a modest five-acre parcel. However, fate had other plans, as they were irresistibly drawn to a sprawling thirty-acre estate, steeped in history and nestled within the ancient river terraces.
Originally envisioned as an olive grove, the land’s destiny took a vinous turn, thanks to the sage advice of Martinborough winemaking pioneer and neighbor, Bill Brink. Today, the Hanson Winery stands as the proud custodian of over 6000 grapevines and 1100 olive trees, a testament to the couple’s enduring commitment to their craft.
Embracing the ethos of sustainable production, the winery bears witness to the creation of small yet exquisite batches of grapes and top-tier olive oil. Thriving in a low-frost microclimate, the vines benefit from the protective embrace of the Canoes to the east and Birch Hill to the south. From the very beginning, the vineyards have adhered to sustainable winegrowing principles, and their journey now includes a transition towards organic practices, enabling the terroir to flourish in all its glory.
At the helm of this enchanting estate are Mike and Margaret Hanson, in collaboration with viticulturist Nigel Elder, who have lovingly nurtured the winery, vineyards, and the creation of Te Muna-classified wines. The vineyards are graced with grape varietals like Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, which form the foundation for an exquisite array of red, white, rose, and dessert wines.
- Location: 950 White Rock Road, Rd 2, Martinborough, Wellington, 5782, New Zealand.
Known for its exceptional Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, Palliser Estate is a must-visit for wine connoisseurs. Enjoy the serene vineyard surroundings and savor their exquisite wines. Nestled in the heart of Martinborough, Palliser Estate Wines epitomizes the essence of New Zealand winemaking. For over three decades, a dedicated community of loyal and passionate New Zealanders has proudly owned and nurtured this estate. Their commitment to crafting exceptional wines that resonate with the unique terroir, seasonal nuances, and soul of the region has elevated Palliser to a position of distinction. Situated in the southernmost sub-region of Wairarapa, this estate enjoys the benefits of free-draining soils and a cool, dry climate, making it the perfect canvas for the creation of acclaimed Pinot Noirs, elegant Chardonnays, vibrant Sauvignon Blancs, and aromatic varietals.
Under the watchful eye of Head Winemaker Guy McMaster, Palliser has embarked on an exciting new era, embracing an organic vineyard program that seeks to produce iconic wines deeply rooted in the Martinborough terroir. Of the six vineyards they steward along the revered Martinborough Terrace, 35% are already certified organic by BioGro NZ, and their ambitious goal is to achieve 100% organic status by 2025. This dedication to sustainable practices is a testament to their commitment to the land.
Palliser Estate Wines invites visitors to explore their world-class offerings at a stylish cellar door, open seven days a week throughout the year. Here, guests can experience warm hospitality and indulge in a delightful selection of wines through personal tastings. Whether it’s an intimate tasting session, a leisurely lunch at the Summer Restaurant, or a tranquil escape in the beautiful courtyard and park-like surroundings, Palliser Estate Wines invites you to savor the magic of Martinborough, one sip at a time.
- Location: 96 Kitchener Street, Martinborough, Wairarapa, 5741, New Zealand.
Offering a delightful combination of lunch and wine, The Runholder is a great choice for those looking to savor delectable food along with their wine tasting. Don’t forget to make a booking to secure your spot.
Located in the picturesque heart of Martinborough, The Runholder stands as a renowned haven for wine enthusiasts seeking a truly exceptional experience. This unique destination is home to the celebrated wineries of Te Kairanga and Martinborough Vineyard, allowing visitors to explore the rich history and innovative spirit of these pioneering establishments. The Runholder offers a diverse array of wine options, from flights to individual glasses or even bottles, ensuring that every guest can savor their favorite wines in their preferred manner. Moreover, it distinguishes itself as the sole location where one can discover rare, new releases, and library wines from these iconic Martinborough producers. With its captivating ambiance, historical significance, and commitment to showcasing the best of Martinborough’s winemaking heritage, The Runholder is an indispensable stop for anyone on a journey through the region’s vinicultural treasures.
- Location: 89 Martins Road, a 5-minute drive or 10-minute pedal from Martinborough Square.
Martinborough Wine Etiquette
As you embark on your journey through Martinborough’s wineries, it’s essential to remember a few key points to ensure an enjoyable and responsible visit:
|Moderation is Key
|Martinborough’s ambiance is casual yet classy. Please enjoy the wines responsibly and avoid excessive consumption. It’s all about savoring the flavors, not getting carried away.
|Alcohol Consumption Rules
|Just like at your favorite local bar, the same alcohol consumption laws apply at the cellar doors. The staff won’t serve alcohol if they believe you’ve had enough.
|Book Ahead for Groups
|The boutique scale of Martinborough’s vineyards means many cellar doors are compact operations. If you’re visiting with a group, booking ahead is essential to secure your spot.
Martinborough wineries offer a captivating blend of elegance and flavor. Whether you’re a wine aficionado or simply looking for a delightful outing, the best wineries in Martinborough promise an unforgettable experience. With its serene landscapes, passionate vintners, and world-class wines, this New Zealand wine destination should be at the top of every wine lover’s list. So, grab your wine map, plan your route, and embark on a journey of taste and sophistication in Martinborough, where each sip tells a story of dedication and excellence.