Marlborough, Yarra Valley

When most people think of New Zealand wine, the first thing that comes to mind will be Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. This one variety more than any other helped springboard New Zealand on to the world-wine scene.

The region is located on the northern end of the south island, nestled around the town of Blenheim, and for many years was a sheep region. It was Montana wines, who in 1973 planted the first vines in the region “too far south to grow good wine.” At the time the region was the southernmost region in the country, but nowadays Central Otago takes south to a whole new level.

Plenty of sunshine hours, relatively low rainfall and cool temperatures provide the perfect conditions for growing world-class Sauvignon Blanc the region is renowned for. Other whites grown include Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Sparkling wines. Pinot Noir dominates the red varieties grown, though is typically lighter bodied than Central Otago or Martinborough Pinots.
The Yarra Valley is a wine region known for producing outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region has become a leading wine tourism destination, popular for weekend trips as it is located only an hour’s drive northeast of Melbourne. The cool climate region has some of the oldest soils in the world and produces terrific Chardonnays in the leaner, acid-driven style. Long gone are the days of excessively oaked and oily Chardonnays. Superb Pinot Noir is cultivated with tremendous results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and even Sparkling wines of premium quality are also worth seeking out.

Yarra Valley is the oldest wine region in Victoria with the first vines planted in 1838 at Yering Station. Reg Egan founded the iconic Wantirna Estate in 1963, followed by Dr Bailey Carrodus in 1969 who founded equally lauded Yarra Yering in the foot of the Warramate Hills. Nowadays a fleet of new world winemakers and growers are making sure Yarra Valley stays at the forefront of Victorian wine production.

The region in 2009 suffered in the Black Saturday fires, with an estimated 25% of all production was impacted.
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