This tiny region is only a short distance from Wellington but will deliver a large reward to travellers. Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton are the sub regions. You can take in 42 wineries and most of them have cellar doors.
There are lots of vineyard accommodation options, and the winemaker is often available to pour you a glass of his or her Pinot Noir. Most companies are boutique in size so the experience will be full of tales from behind the cellar door from the families who planted the vines and built the businesses.
A range of styles and varieties are on offer, such as standout Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and aromatics, as well as stylish Chardonnay, Syrah and dessert wines.
The three main sub-regions in the area are Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton. These sub-regions share a similar climate and soil structures, yet offer subtle differences in character for the discerning palate to explore.
Wairarapa’s modern wine history dates from the late 1970s plantings of Martinborough, which included producers such as: Dry River, Martinborough Vineyard, Ata Rangi and Chifney (now Margrain).
Wairarapa is accessible from the capital city of Wellington, just over an hour’s drive (or train ride) through scenic country. Getting here is easy enough for a day trip, but visitors will quickly learn there is much more to experience than can be done in one day. Between Martinborough, Gladstone, and Masterton, the cellar doors are very accessible, and some are even walking distance from one another. Many of the wineries are small producers and the chance of having a conversation with the winemaker is something that draws visitors. For a truly unique experience, stay at one of several vineyard accommodation options, and hear the stories of the people, the wine, and the region. The region is famous for its premium Pinot Noir, but one of the real treats is discovering something lesser known and very special.
Let CELLARDOORS.CO help you plan your trip to Wairapa with our guide to the best cellar doors, accommodation, food, wine tours and more.