The best of Marlborough’s wineries
16 June 2017
The best of the region’s wineries pay attention to the visitor experience at the cellar door.
Cruise liner the MS Oosterdam, with 1800 passengers aboard, dropped anchor in the Marlborough Sounds a couple of years ago. At a ceremony to mark its first voyage into Picton, Alistair Sowman, then the region’s mayor, learnt why the giant ship was there. “The captain had lobbied to get Picton on the itinerary,” reported Sowman, “because he’s partial to a Marlborough sauvignon blanc.”
Marlborough wines are exported to about 100 countries, but when you visit the winery cellar doors, you can try before you buy (sometimes for a small fee, which will be redeemed if you buy), get access to rare wines and take advantage of sharp prices. Sampling wine in the middle of a beautiful vineyard while chatting with the owner can be a magical experience. Many swear that wine always tastes best at the cellar door.