Ultimate Guide to the Wellington Wine Region

By: Libby Little

Wellington Wine Region Agriculture

In a competitive world, it's often hard to find your footing. New Zealand wine growers benefit from having multiple organizations designed to help them conform to local and industry standards, as well as helping growers remain eco-friendly. The Wine Institute of New Zealand was formed in 1975, and New Zealand Winegrowers roared to life in 2002 [source: New Zealand Wine].

New Zealanders know they have something special: remarkably green, lush land. No one wants to mess that up. Wine producers in the country now focus on an initiative called Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ), which began in 1997 [source: New Zealand Wine]. Wine growers can look to SWNZ for leadership regarding best environmental practices, technology updates and innovative wine production techniques.


Wellington and its surrounding towns benefit from their proximity to the ocean and the calm climate of the region. Along with Wairarapa, the region also claims a town called Martinborough, which is the best-known and oldest wine area under the Wellington umbrella. The magic of this town's wines can be seen with the overwhelming success of Martinborough Pinot Noir [source: New Zealand Wine].

The Wellington wine region benefits from gravelly subsoils, alluvial loams, a long growing season, cool nights and plenty of bright sunshine [source: New Zealand Wine]. Although Wairarapa only produced 1,900 acres (777 hectares) of wine in 2006, it's still considered to be one of the richest wine-producing areas in New Zealand. And that number is pretty impressive, considering that in 1997, Wairarapa only produced 445 acres (180 hectares) [source: New Zealand Wine].

Which wines are the best? Read on to learn about famous wines of the Wellington Wine Region.