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Ultimate Guide to the Marlborough Wine Region

Famous Wines of the Marlborough Wine Region

In some regions, one wine is the clear leader. Other areas produce seemingly everything and anything, making it tough to pick a winner. New Zealand's Marlborough wine region falls somewhere in between. There are about five quality wines within the region, so you have a few to choose from. However, Sauvignon Blanc is the definite winner here -- it takes up 65 percent of the region's production and is inarguably the cause for Marlborough's leadership and fame in New Zealand's wine production: Sauvignon Blanc [source: Wine Marlborough].

The Sauvignon Blanc of Marlborough is easily characterized by its distinctive qualities, which make it a bit unlike any other Sauvignon Blanc you might find from another country or region. It's known as having "a piercing citric quality and electrifying edge" [source: Apstein]. This white wine doesn't need to be aged -- in fact, its intensity is best enjoyed right after production, as aging can dull what makes it unique. That's why many wineries in Marlborough use screw caps instead of corks. This increasingly popular technique is often used with the region's Sauvignon Blanc -- a cork could change its flavor and cause it to lose its forceful, bold flavors.

The region's generally fruity wines also include:

  • Pinot Noir -- approximately 13 percent of production
  • Chardonnay -- approximately 10 percent of production
  • Riesling -- approximately 4 percent of production
  • Pinot Gris -- approximately 2 percent of production [source: Wine Marlborough]

This late-bloomer winemaking region is quickly taking the wine world by storm. If you like an in-your-face wine, you'll certainly want to check out Marlborough's famed Sauvignon Blanc.

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