From wine tours to weddings, Marlborough is a must visit
Image / Brancott heritage vineyard site.
Whether you fancy a hike and a hot pie, or want to indulge in the finer things in life, Marlborough has a bit of it all.
A long-standing destination for wine lovers – since innovative winemakers settled decades ago – its picturesque views, convenient regional scale and premium produce make Marlborough a must visit for foodies. Brancott Estate Vineyard has a leading role in what’s on offer. Beyond the vineyards and reception space, it’s also an event destination, even hosting the region’s annual Marlborough Food and Wine Festival, a favorite with foodies across New Zealand.
Brent Pilcher, site manager at Brancott Estate Venue, makes regular trips to Marlborough – he revealed his tips on what to do during your stay (and where to get the best pie).
Why should wine lovers visit Marlborough?
Being the country’s largest wine region, around two-thirds of all New Zealand wine is grown in Marlborough. You are spoiled for choice to explore the finer nuances of the region’s various growing areas. The range of grape varieties is wide and the influence of the terroir is considerable. Give yourself plenty of time to explore.
The vineyards themselves are picturesque, and driving through the Marlborough region is a great way to spend a few days – from rolling hills to plains and braided rivers, the wine country is a sight to behold.
What do you like to do when you are in the area?
Being at the top of the South Island, you are blessed with endless ways to keep yourself busy. If mountain biking is your thing then there is plenty to choose from up to Nelson. For those who prefer a flat ride, rent a bike and explore the vineyards around Marlborough.
The Marlborough Sounds also offer a lot to enjoy. Hiking enthusiasts can explore the famous Queen Charlotte Track. If you want to go out on the water, you can hire a sea kayak, organize a fishing charter, or book a relaxing cruise and really relax.
A nice day trip to the Marlborough Sounds is Furneaux Lodge, and you can get there on the Cougar Line. Sit outside and soak up the sun and the beauty of the location, or make yourself comfortable inside in the heritage building.
Blenheim itself is lovely and very walkable – there are some interesting bookstores and cafes frequented by loyal locals (Ritual on Maxwell Rd is awesome and full of character).
For me, there is still a lot on my to-do list because I haven’t done everything yet, but you can’t ignore locally grown foods and farmed mussels and salmon. The Marlborough Farmer’s Market takes place in Blenheim on Sunday mornings and is a one-stop shop for the best produce in the region – and a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike. It is also the perfect place to buy cheese and jams to go with all your wine purchases.
Do you have any secret places that you always visit?
No visit to Blenheim is complete without a stop at the Burleigh. The best pies … well, anywhere. If steak and blue cheese isn’t your thing, then pork belly will do. Get there early, they are always busy.
And finally, what do you like about Marlborough?
Without a doubt, the people. Their resilience after the 2016 earthquakes really put the region to the test three months from the vintage. The whole community came together and achieved phenomenal results under very difficult conditions. It was done in a very discreet manner and with good humor. Maybe it’s a South Island thing?
Find out more about the event spaces of the Brancott estate at Brancottestate.com/en-nz/visit-our-vineyard/private-events