The plains of Marlborough have always been bountiful. Apples,
peaches, apricots, asparagus, cherries, garlic, figs, corn, peas, strawberries
and kiwifruit all grew prolifically. Sheep, beef cattle and deer grazed the dry
hillsides, so there was always a ready supply of meat for the barbecue. Then
Marlborough’s zesty aromatic Sauvignon Blanc rose to international fame.
Suddenly the world couldn’t get enough of it, and paddocks, crops, gardens and
orchards gave way to vineyards.
But now the provenance of food matters, as the millennial generation
seeks to ensure the produce it is consuming is responsibly produced. Chefs are
demanding that the fare they offer is sourced locally, and Marlborough is
rising to the challenge; a core of dedicated producers are again showcasing
locally grown fruit and vegetables and even locally hunted wild game.
High quality fruit and vegetables are grown in more and more fields,
the number of roadside stalls is swelling and the regular Sunday farmer’s
market showcases diverse produce including nuts, goat’s cheese, olive oil,
free-range eggs, berries, stone fruit and vegetables.
Over the next few months, the Marlborough region plays host to a number of events celebrating wine and food, and also fitness, and flying. From Feast Marlborough, which celebrates the land and the food chain, to the Forrest GrapeRide, where cyclists smoosh the grapes for next year’s vintage – there’s something for everyone.