Ultimate Guide to the Marlborough Wine Region

Marlborough Wine Region History and Culture

The Marlborough wine region is the largest producer of wine in New Zealand, but only a generation or two ago the region was barely producing any wine at all. Though evidence of grape vines in the area date back to the 1870s, it wasn't for almost another century that viniculturists began planting grapes and cultivating them for wine production. Marlborough didn't begin exporting wine until 1963 and didn't begin planting the Sauvignon Blanc, the grape to which it owes its fame and fortune, until the 1970s [source: Wine Marlborough].

In just a few short years, Marlborough's more than 27,000 acres (11,000 hectares) of vines have pushed to become the leader in New Zealand wine [source: Wine Marlborough]. Though New Zealand is definitely not the top wine country in the world, if you know anything about its wine you've probably heard about the Marlborough wine region. It's responsible for more than half of the entire country's total wine production -- a figure that has quadrupled in just the past decade.

Read on to learn about the agriculture of the Marlborough wine region.