Martinborough, a charming colonial town found approximately 65km to the east of Wellington may be small in size but is big in reputation, being renowned as one of the best wine producing areas of the country. With a kind microclimate and fertile soils, the region is rightly recognised for producing outstanding wines, especially Pinot Noir, and at the very heart of the wine making community is the relatively small privately owned vineyard of Haythornthwaite.
Mark, the eponymous founder of the vineyard, and still the current manager, made the quantum leap from a previous career in IT to establishing a winery, with little experience but an unquenchable passion to produce exceptional wines. The first vintage was released in 1998 and immediately this boutique vineyard in Martinborough saw its hard work and sustainable approach rewarded with numerous awards for their wines.
Decades later but still thriving and consistently producing superb wines, the business around the winery has expanded, acknowledging and responding to a requirement for customers old and new, to be able to share in the Haythornthwaite experience. Naturally enough, customers are invited to participate in wine tasting at this Martinborough vineyard but in addition Mark and his wife Susan have embellished the experience and visitors can enjoy the ambience of their beautiful vineyard gardens of Martinborough whilst sampling and enjoying food from the Haythornthwaite vineyard café in the midst of the famous Martinborough wine region. The delicious food menu is centred around meat and cheese platters served with crackers or bread, but all dietary requirements, including vegan and gluten free will happily be accommodated.
And whilst you are relishing your vineyard platters in the outdoor tasting room here in Martinborough, you will probably have a desire to sample one or more of the range of Haythornthwaite wines. Whilst being widely acclaimed for their Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir Rose, their Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc also stand up to close scrutiny, and very much in keeping with the family ethos of this vineyard, all the wine varieties are named after family and close friends! Furthermore, there is also a wide range of products such as conserves, jams, chutneys, and olive oils available to purchase from the pantry on site.
The ongoing success of the Haythornthwaite brand is attributed to more than hard work, although this is most certainly a feature – all the work on the vineyard, including harvesting is done by hand, but in collaboration the talents of a globally acclaimed wine maker, Wendy, the results speak for themselves.
For a truly memorable wine tasting experience in Martinborough, a visit to the Haythornthwaite vineyard is imperative. Take your time to savour some of the wines, produced for all palates, enjoy the relaxing ambience of the gardens whilst grazing upon a selection of sumptuous foods and simply revel in the surroundings.
Check out the times that our cellar door in Martinborough is open and come along to one of the premier Martinborough wineries with food where you will always receive the warmest of welcomes.