By Scott Bentley


Local vintners attribute their success, particularly in southern Marlborough, to the temperate climate – with sunny days and cold nights, which provide perfect growing conditions for the grapes used to make Sauvignon Blanc.

Although an early settler had planted some brown muscat grapes a century earlier, wine-making in the region began in earnest in the 1970s. Since then, Marlborough has experienced a tourism boom with many activities and experiences based around the vineyards and their cellar doors.

The fishing industry is another important part of Marlborough’s economic backbone, and of course seafood pairs perfectly with the local wine. Salmon, mussels and oysters are just some of the sea’s generous bounty and while they’re popular at home, the export market is buzzing too as chefs around the world seek out our quality, kiwi ingredients.

Seafood aside, some of the other foods produced by locals include pine nuts, hazelnuts, honey and olives. 

Visitors to Marlborough are always awed by its beauty, with soaring mountain ranges, stunning valleys, native forests and blue seas at the coastline and in the dramatically sweeping sounds. Bird life in the region is amazing, with blue penguins, terns, shags and many more besides. Hiking and biking, fishing and hunting are just some of the activities enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, while cruising and bus tours are popular too.

Blenheim is Marlborough’s largest town, and officially one of the country’s sunniest spots. As you’d expect at the gateway to wine country it has a whole host of eateries, casual and otherwise, with emphasis on the region’s bounty and a world-renowned farmers’ market. 

The town has pleasant green reserves along the Taylor River history buffs will enjoy Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, where film director Peter Jackson’s own collection of vintage planes and memorabilia is on display.

Blenheim is also the home of First National Real Estate Marlborough. We’ve been here since the late 1980s and have established ourselves as the premier agency; committed to our local and wider community.
It’s a laid-back sort of town, and without big city hassles such as commuting, we have all the time in the world for our clients – both large and small.

Many of our sales people are locals or long-timers, who have a real passion for the region and they will work alongside you until the buying or selling, renting or leasing job is done to everyone’s satisfaction.
As a company, we see one of our core functions as supporting sport and the arts, hospice, Plunket and schools in the area. We also like to get behind events such as food and music festivals, and we do all of this because we want to be seen as Marlburians supporting Marlburians.