Monthly Archives: December 2008

Marlborough New Zealand

house march 2003Marlborough is the largest of New Zealand’s wine growing regions. The first commercial vineyard was established in 1973. In the year 2000, 3800 hectares were planted. Sauvignon Blanc is the most planted variety at 1600 hectares which represents 75% of the national area planted.
The population of the province is 45000, and Blenheim is the largest town.

Marlborough at the north eastern tip of the South Island of New Zealand consists of a large, flat, river valley with deep deposits of free draining alluvial soils. Varied soil patterns are found throughout the valley and even within single vineyards leading to significant variations in style. The shallow stony free draining soils which aid drainage and limit the fertility produce high quality wines.

Surface boulders reflect the suns rays and retain the warmth during the regions cool, clear summer nights. Irrigation is extensively used to relieve vine stress during the typically dry Marlborough summers.
Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is Marlborough’s best known variety. These pungent, aromatic wines that blend tropical fruit flavours with gooseberry and capsicum herbaceousness are the regions national wine style of International importance. 15000 tonnes were produced in the 2000 vintage.

Marlborough Weather Data

Marlborough is New Zealand’s sunniest region with over 2400 sunshine hours recorded annually. The Wairau Valley is the main grape growing area of Marlborough. The average monthly weather data is as follows.

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Month Rainfall
(mm)
Temp
( C )
Ground Frost
( days )
Sunshine
( Hours )
Jan 51 18.1 0 260
Feb 34 17.9 0.2 228
Mar 54 16.5 0.4 214
Apr 59 13.5 1.9 188
May 71 10.5 9.6 165
June 58 7.8 16.6 153
July 64 7.3 18.1 158
Aug 69 8.5 14.5 175
Sept 45 10.7 7.8 195
Oct 54 12.8 3.8 227
Nov 49 14.4 1.4 239
Dec 49 16.7 0.1 245
YEAR 657 12.9 74.4 2447