The Best Wine Tours, Wine Tasting and Wineries In Marlborough, New Zealand

by stephmylifetravel

One of the best things about New Zealand is that wine tasting is practically a hobby there. Wine tasting in the Marlborough region should be at the top of every wine-lover’s bucket list. Whether you have a few days or just an afternoon, you can still fit a tour of the famous Blenheim wineries, and try your favourite whites straight from the source. Here are all of your options to tour the wineries in Marlborough, New Zealand.


How to get to Blenheim

If you book an organised tour, the tour company will pick you up at your guesthouse if it’s in the town, or else at the Picton InterIsland ferry port if you’re coming from the North Island.

If you’re staying outside of Blenheim, you can get to the town by bus. Take the public bus from Nelson (1hr 45) or Picton (30 mins). The Picton buses leave right from the InterIslander pier which is very handy if you’re just arriving to the South Island and want to do a tour right away.

InterCity offers cheap $1 fares if you book in advance and there’s also plenty of accommodation in the area if you want to stay overnight.

Where to Stay in Blenheim

As you can imagine, accommodation in Blenheim is not cheap. Budget backpackers are better off getting the bus to Nelson after the tour and staying overnight there. Rates in Nelson are a lot cheaper than Blenheim. You can see where we stayed in Nelson here.

If you do decide to stay in the town, there are some really beautiful places you can stay. Here are a few of my favourites I have found online:

  • Follow The White Wabbit – £85 per night. This charming, whimsical B&B is an eco-friendly option,  and a quirky change from standard hotels. Accommodation options include The White Rabbit – a small retro caravan with a double bed, and Abby’s Shabby Shack – a ‘tiny house’ built using recycled and reclaimed materials.
  • Botanica Marlborough B&B  – £171 per night. This refurbished 1920’s house has stunning landscaped gardens where you can sit with a glass of wine after a day exploring the region. Rooms are plush, homely and comfortable – this place seems like a really cosy stay! This 5-star B&B gets rave reviews online and is within walking distance of the town.
  • Chateau Marlborough – £174 per night. If you would rather stay in a hotel, this stunning 5-star hotel offers luxury self-contained suites with a gorgeous pool to cool off in after a day in the sunshine. Rooms are comfortable and cosy, with a little kitchenette so you can make yourself feel at home. This hotel won the HM Australasian Hotel of the Year awards 2018, and claims to offer ‘world class service’. The reviews online certainly agree.


Planning your wine tasting trip

Is it hard?

**UPDATE October 2020: Marlborough Wine Tours have let me know that our guide is no longer with them, and has moved to the ‘Bubbly Grapes’ tour company – you can read their reply below this post!

You may also like


Charles Bennett April 3, 2019 - 6:43 am

Amazing.. !! this is a real good reference for my upcoming projects!

Jess July 17, 2020 - 9:27 am

Just want to point out that Kat now works for Bubbly Grape Wine Tours not Marlborough Wine Tours as you have described in your blog. As you have pointed out her attitude didn’t suit the principles of the new owners of – Marlborough Wine Tours reviews have improved significantly with a new team of great wine tour guides.

stephmylifetravel October 19, 2020 - 11:21 am

Thanks for letting me know, I have updated my post!

Gary Thorpe November 23, 2020 - 2:55 am

The post by the owner of MWT implies that Katrina Canton lacks priciples and has a bad attitude toward customers. By association it also implies that by employing her as a driver/guide, Bubbly Grape Wine Tours also lacks these qualities and doesn’t care about its customers.

It is my opinion that the comments from the owner of Marlborough Wine Tours are defamatory to both Katrina Canton and Bubbly Grape Wine Tours.

As a point of difference that might show readers how much we care about exceptional experiences for our customers, Bubbly Grape Wine Tours, with Kat as an employee, has 1011 Five Star Trip Advisor reviews compared with the 541 of Marlborough Wine Tours – and were the 2018 recipient of thew Luxury Travel Guides Wine Tour Operator of the Year for New Zealand,

Michella Joe November 13, 2020 - 9:41 am


Thank you for sharing your information. I came to Auckland and have taken wine tour package from Wine Trail Tours. It is very good experience.

Katrina Canton November 23, 2020 - 5:51 am

I would like to reply. If as you say a 4 hour trip turned into 6 I would have made sure that there would have been an option for a food stop as I am not a irresponsible person where alcohol is involved. I would very much like to know when your tour was.
Once the new owners took over Marlborough Wine Tours I was aware within a week that I would not be able to work for these people as Jess was a control freak and a bully.
I have many great reviews and am proud to be able to show visitors around our beautiful region and tell them about the fantastic varieties of wine that we make here as well.
As a human being I am allowed off days the same as everyone and feel that this may have been one of those times for which I am truly sorry that you had a bad experience because of me.
Kind Regards Katrina Canton

Sohie March 21, 2023 - 8:17 pm

Seriously? Only an idiot would be taken back to Picton to catch a bus that goes back to Blenheim on the way to Nelson.
Tastings at Framingham do not take place exclusively in the cellar and in almost all cases take place in the garden or the tasting room.
I have no doubt that your extreme desire for attention and control was the real reason why the tour took longer than it should have.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.