Martinborough is located in the Wairarapa district of the Wellington region in the North Island of New Zealand. The town is about one hour away from Wellington. Martinborough is very lovely and essentially entirely consists of vineyards. The region is especially known for producing Pinot Noir and various other early ripening varieties. It’s a great weekend getaway from Wellington and a perfect stop if you pass by on your way up from Wellington to Napier or Lake Taupo.
Make sure you book a hotel in Martinborough for the night so that you can fully enjoy the vineyard-hopping experience after which you will certainly be beyond the legal driving limit! So, once you have left your luggage in your hotel, rent a bike and start the vineyard tour!
There are various vineyards in Martinborough and you will not be able to visit all in one day. We started our tour in the early afternoon so we only had time to visit 3 wineries as most of the vineyards close before 4pm.
Our favourite overall ‘package’ was Poppies Martinborough, which is located at 91 Puruatanga Road, number 15 on the Martinborough vineyard map (which you will get at the tourist information office as well as in any of the vineyards). The winery / restaurant is owned by Poppy and her husband who share the wine-making process. Her husband picks the grapes and Poppy then magically turns them into good wine. According to her, if you enjoy the wine, it is due to her wine-making skills. Should you not like the wine, her husband simply picked the wrong grapes. I think that makes perfect sense :)
Whilst we really enjoyed all of the wine tastings on that day, Poppies does not only have yummy wine but also the interior is very cosy and you can have great food whilst enjoying a glass or two of Poppies delicious Pinot Gris. Trust me, after three wine tastings food is quite high on your priority list! Add the owners’ lovely personality to it and you have the perfect finale of a great day in Martinborough. This is the website of Poppies, if you are in a larger group, it is best to book a table in advance :)
And they had amazing desserts! Try the chocolate cake!
After your vineyard hopping weekend, head to Wellington if you are going south or drive up to Lake Taupo for some stunning nature if you are going north. For the latter journey, add a little trip to Castle Point for a beautiful scenery.