Following on from part 2 – you’re in the homeward stretch now!… Whilst in the area, you can call into the Vines Village, a little haven at 193 Rapaura Road for a change of pace. A collection of boutique shops, with a lakeside café and they even have bike hire available. Sample some gelato from the delicatessen, or a local gin at Marlborough Dry Roots. Or a beer? Golden Mile Brewing has an outlet here – you could crack a cold one whilst the kids play on the playground and charge around the grounds.
Whitehaven Wines Cellar Door is at Vines Village as well – open 10am-4.30pm. They’ve been making wine here for 25 years, and have a diverse range that includes delicious rose and rieslings. Their flagship Sauvignon Blanc, named after Greg White, won the Champion Export Wine Trophy at the Royal Easter Show in 2020.
At 22 Boyces Road in Rapaura is Huia. They have a Cellar Door showcasing their wines made from organic vineyards and in a low-intervention style. They are part of the MANA Winegrowers Collective, and you’ll often find MANA Collection cases from the members at each Tasting Room. Aromatics are a speciality here.
Duck down Jacksons Rd, and Allan Scott Family Winemakers is at no. 229. Allan planted the first vineyard in Marlborough in 1973, and has worked every vintage since! Some wines are Cellar Door exclusives, like the Eli Chardonnay and Pinot. There’s a vine covered pergola to relax under, and the Twelve Trees Restaurant – named after the walnut trees lining the entrance – is a dining destination, well known in the area.
Across the road, at 230 Jacksons Rd, is the headquarters of Cloudy Bay. Another larger operation – you will be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled upon a 5-star hotel! It’s a simply gorgeous set-up. One of the early founders of wine in Marlborough, it’s now part of the Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton stable, and internationally regarded. The Cellar Door is complemented by ‘Jack’s Raw Bar’ in the summer months, but it’s open year round 7 days a week, 10am-4pm. Try something different in their barrel-aged ‘te Koko’ Sauvignon Blanc?
Back on Rapaura Road, call in to no.603 to visit Hunter’s Wines in the original farmhouse building at the winery site. They are open 7 days a week 9.30am to 4.30pm. Their ‘MiruMiru’ Methode Traditionalle is fantastic but it’s hard to go past the Sauvignon Blanc. The new label ‘Offshoot’ is a more experimental range and worth a venture into. Not just a Cellar Door, Hunter’s also has a 2 hectare Native Garden, complete with sculptures, to wander through – and an Artists Studio. Recommended!
A little farther along, but absolutely worth a visit – you could always pop in there first on your trip around – is Saint Clair. Family-owned and winning so many awards these days it’s almost unfair on the competition. The Cellar Door also features the Vineyard Kitchen and it’s open every day in summer – closed Mon-Weds in winter.
Situated on the corner of Rapaura and Selmes Roads – it’s about ten minutes from Blenheim. Sauvignon Blanc is fabulous here – in a variety of styles, but also keep an eye out for some of the best Chardonnays in the country, and some sensational Pinot Noir too.
Lake Chalice, Vavasour, Staete Landt, Grove Mill, Zephyr and Mud House are labels of excellent wines from the Marlborough region, but do not have a Cellar Door – that we know of! Look out for their wines in restaurants and retail.