Wines From Martinborough New Zealand


Perhaps Martinborough was designed purely for fine wine. No one single factor but a unique combination of climatic forcesshape the conditions for producing grapes of great flavour and complexity. 

That intensity is created by Martinborough’s genuinely cool climate. Science proves what winemakers know – that building depth of flavour takes time, through cool nights and warm days over many months. That’s how to produce premium classic varietals of international standing.

Martinborough days are dry and nights fresh, with four sharply defined seasons.  This is the North Island’s driest spot, in a rain shadow created by the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges. 

Extreme weather patterns are rare, although the district is prone to spring frosts.  The district is studded with angular wind machines, triggered by falling temperatures to rotate warm air from above and protect baby vines from frost damage. Some years climatic challenges dramatically reduce the crop

Martinborough viticulturists and winemakers bask in one of longest growing seasons (from flowering to harvest) in New Zealand.  With significant temperature variation between day and night (the diurnal range), naturally breezy conditions to control vine vigour and a golden settled autumn ripening, the result is low-yielding of grapes with great intensity of flavour

Wines from Martinborough are renowned as premium wines with an international reputation that far outweighs its tiny production levels.



  Fact File

  • Average rainfall is around 780mm a year, falling mostly in winter and spring
  • With 1080 - 1180 Growing Degree Days on average, conditions are good for flowering and ripening grapes
  • The climate is described as semi maritime, influenced by the long coastline to the east and south
  • Summer temperatures peak on average at 32-34°C (92°F), with nights of 10°C (50°F); during winter very cold nights (-5 - 0°C (32°F) are common
  • Strong north-west winds through spring regulate flowering and crop levels while reducing vigour in growing season
  • This long growing season is ideal for pinot noir especially, allowing fruit to ripen slowly and build flavour over a longer period
  • Budburst - Early September
  • Veraison - February
  • Harvest - Late March through to April
  • Data is averaged over 2004-2008 vintages