Martinborough Autumn is the ideal time to visit wine country, when grapes hang heavy on the vines and estates are busy with the activity of vintage.
In the pretty North Island village of Martinborough, the heat of summer is replaced by delightfully warm days and comfortably cool nights. Martinborough, a town of 1300 people at the southern end of the famed Wairarapa wine region, where some of New Zealand’s most celebrated pinot noir is produced, is home to 45 wineries and 20 cellar doors as well as other gourmet enterprises that thrive beside the vines.
March is packed with harvest festivals and the best way to explore the vineyards, meandering from one winery to the next sampling the red and white varieties, is on a bike hired from March Hare Cycling. The flat country roads are peaceful places to pedal.
Peppers Parehua is a boutique retreat beside a block of pinot grapes on the edge of Martinborough, and each of the stylish self-contained cottages has a veranda on which to enjoy the autumn sunshine and a roaring fire to snuggle beside when night brings the cold. See wairarapanz.com