Martinborough's Memorial Square
|Territorial authority||South Wairarapa District|
|Time zone||NZST (UTC+12)|
|• Summer (DST)||NZDT (UTC+13)|
Martinborough is a town in the South Wairarapa district of the Wellington region in the North Island of New Zealand. It is 65 kilometres east of Wellington and 35 kilometres south-west of Masterton. The town has a population of about 1300 full-time inhabitants.
John Martin is regarded as the town’s founder and set out the first streets in the pattern of the Union Flag in the 19th century. Many of the town's streets are named after foreign cities visited by Martin. Before Martinborough was established the southern part of the region was known as Waihenga, a point that seems to be lost at times in the history of the district. A feature is the colonial architecture, one example of which is the historic Martinborough Hotel, built in 1882.
Prior to the expansion of viticulture, Martinborough was largely a rural service town for nearby farms.
Martinborough has a large number of vineyards producing wines, notably Pinot noir. Martinborough has a warm micro-climate, with hills to the east and west. Almost all the vineyards are in thin ribbons around the northern and eastern sides of the town, and on the Dry River to the south. All follow dry riverbeds, which provide appropriate soils for viticulture. Notable wineries include Schubert Wines, Te Kairanga, Tirohana Estate, Palliser Estate Wines, Dry River, Martinborough Vineyard, Murdoch James, Ata Rangi, Craggy Range and Alana Estate. During November, the region's wines are celebrated in the Toast Martinborough wine festival. This event temporarily enlarges the population by 10,000.
Other industries around Martinborough focus on traditional beef and sheep farming, growing olives, lavender and nuts, and fishing at the coast settlements of Ngawi and Cape Palliser. Tourism is an important industry for the town, and the information centre is a good source of advice about accommodation, activities, wineries and where to eat.
There are numerous options for accommodation, from casual B&Bs to a five-star hotel. A small number of wineries and specialist tour operators offer vineyard tours, while there are many dining opportunities at wineries, or at the cafés and restaurants dotted around the attractive village square. A vibrant shopping precinct exists with boutique shops.
The town is home to the South Wairarapa District Council.
The town offers education at a primary level at Martinborough Primary School, which contributes to the roll of Kuranui College. The international cooking school Le Cordon Bleu, in partnership with UCOL, said that it would open its first New Zealand campus in Martinborough by 2009, but they have now changed the venue to Wellington instead, upsetting many who looked forward to the economic boost this would have provided to the town.
- "World Gazetteer Populations for New Zealand". Archived from the original on 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- "Schubert Wines".
- "Palliser Estate Wines".
- "Martinborough Vineyard".
- "Murdoch James".
- "Ata Rangi".
- "Alana Estate".
- "Martinborough Information Centre".
- "Give us our money back, says MP". 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-09.