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Located at the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island, Marlborough is New Zealand’s most famous wine region.

The Marlborough region’s Sauvignon Blanc wines are known the world over for their intensity of flavour and unique personality. There is no doubt that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is overwhelmingly the New Zealand wine of choice on the world market. But Marlborough is more than Sauvignon Blanc. Its high sunshine hours and large diurnal swings, make it suitable for a wide range of cooler climate styles. It is here that Esk Valley sources the fruit for its Pinot Noir and Riesling to complement our Sauvignon Blanc.

Wairau Valley

The Wairau valley is named after the Wairau River. It is the largest of the valleys of Marlborough and has the largest planted area. It is here that the Marlborough wine industry as we know it today began. There are numerous sub regions which produce differing styles of wine. Those on the large tracts of gravel produce fragrant wines in the classic Marlborough style while the southern valleys and the Southern Clays produce a richer and more concentrated style. These clay soils are proving popular for Pinot Noir.

Awatere Valley

The Awatere is the most Southern of Marlborough’s wine regions and is the most wild. This is a windy and narrow valley, which was initially ignored while the Wairau was being planted. As plantable land became scarce in the Wairau Valley, pioneering wine companies looked south to the Awatere. With its windy nature and infertile gravel soils, yields are naturally low and the wine although very much in a Marlborough style has its own nuances. These include higher acidity and more herbal characteristics.

At Esk Valley we have vineyards planted in both valleys and use grapes from each of them in our Marlborough wines. The acidity and freshness of the Awatere Valley fruit is the perfect companion to the riper fuller nature of the Wairau fruit.