In the bustle of Martinborough’s township, full of choice offerings from local café’s, unique items from boutique shops, the buzz and busyness of cycle tours and the many personable cellar doors open to the public, one might think that there is very little left to offer the discerning visitor.
At the heart of the town, as the hub of Martinborough’s local and tourism attractions, Martinborough Wine Merchants is offering visitors a high-end, personal opportunity to experience first-hand, what it is to be New Zealand’s only wine village.
Martinborough Wine Walks is the regions’ newest tourism offer. Unlike traditional-style visits to cellar doors, Martinborough Wine Walks gives visitors a private and exclusive opportunity to see and speak with the winemakers, viticulturists and owners of vineyards, including those rarely open to the public. Hip-hopping through vineyards (even climbing over the odd fence or two), tours encompass the jewels’ of Martinborough’s crown. Icon producers, Dry River and Escarpment are included with the regions’ newest and most dynamic names, such as Devotus, Cambridge Road and Poppies. Additionally, famous cellar doors like Palliser and Ata Rangi go the extra mile – opening up their barrel caves and wineries.
Martinborough Wine Merchants owner, Tanya Cowen says: “With so many people constantly asking for information on this regions’ gems, including exclusive producers that do not necessarily have cellar doors, I saw an opportunity to connect people directly, by foot, to the vineyards.”
Tanya, has certainly earned her wine stripes, having transported some of Martinborough’s first vine cuttings in her days as a courier, worked in the vineyards and cellar doors of the region’s top producers, and most recently as owner, director and general go-to person of the town’s very busy wine retail store. It is because of the long and solid friendships that Tanya has built with the town’s iconic producers, that she has been able to create the high-end, personal package that is seldom seen.
“All tour goers see another side of the wine business,” says Tanya. “They touch the soil, smell a ferment, even taste wine from the barrel. Tour goers come away with a lot more understanding as to what makes this globally recognised, premium wine region tick.”