Only an hour from the nation's capital Wellington and 30km inland along a scenic drive, Wairapara is a picturesque region with plenty to offer and well worth the trip. At only 3% of the total New Zealand under vine, and 1% of the total production, it is a boutique region that seriously punches well above its weight in regards to the quality wines it produces.
Divided into three sub-regions - Martinborough, Gladstone, and Masterton, which share a comparable climate and soil, yet differ subtly to the palate. Boasting some of the biggest names in New Zealand Pinot Noir with Dry River and Ata Rangi, two of only seven wineries awarded the prestigious Five Stars in the Eighth Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification, and Martinborough Vineyard awarded Four Stars. That's some serious credentials!
Pinot Noir is their flagship variety with over 50% of the planting under vine, offer great depth with an earthy undercurrent, they are richly textured, yet perfumed and generous; they are wines of exceptional character.
Wairapara Sauvignon Blanc could be considered New Zealand's best-kept secret as it constitutes over 30% of the region's production and generally overlooked to its neighbour across the Cook Strait, Marlborough. They tend to over-deliver in regards to the quality as they offer plenty lifted aromatics, braced with mineral tension and the classical herbal vibrancy one expected from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Let's not forget Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and a star in the making; the Syrah.
This is one of New Zealand's top foodies destinations with a tantalizing array of top-notch restaurants and accommodation, all hosted in warm country charm. Discover plenty of farm-fresh produce and artisan foods, and locally made treats. This is a region guaranteed to satisfy all your senses.