Nicolekiss Best 5 Marlborough Wineries

I've concluded a list of Nicolekiss Best 5 Marlborough Wineries and why.

This has totally nothing to do with public's judgment nor quality of wines but of personal experience in terms of the winery presentation, food and their selections of wines, especially sweet whites. :)

marlborough map

So here goes.

Number 5:

Wairau River Wines

wairau river wines

I don't need to explain far.

Just note: Cheese souffle. Must eat.

eating cheese souffle

Even if you don't like cheese.

Just for the sake of claiming that you've eaten a cheese souffle before.

Warning: very filling

Well, apart from that, it's a very cosy place.

wairau river restaurant


Number 4:


framingham winery

Probably one of the rare wineries that has the largest production and selection of sweet whites ever! (aka Dessert Wines)

ice rieslings galore

Just Noble Riesling alone, they produces 2,500 bottles every year.

On top of that, they have three types of Riesling Auslese (No. 1, 2 and 3) to add in my wish list.

framingham dessert wine list

Whoever produces three different types of dessert wines for the same (German) wine term is definitely my favourite winery of all time.

Just the reviews alone were enough to make me wanna wipe the entire winery clean of their sweet wines.

framingham ice rieslings review

Their dessert wines even come in categorized boxes to make your purchasing decision much simpler, and a lot of more expensive.

framingham ice rieslings

If only I have a 1000 bucks with me then.

Number 3:

Allan Scott

Even with my mental judgment impaired by the mass amount of dessert wines in Framingham, I still have my moral judgment intact.

*whisper* Heh. As if. *cough*

My top 3 here has nothing of those fancy exterior nor commercialized packaging for their wines, and as I've always believe, a good winery doesn't have to be one that has the pretties layout or largest amount of wines produced.

This little humble winery has nothing of the former, but has everything a soulful winery should possess.

allan scott winery entrance

allan scott winery

When you stepped into Allan Scott, or beneath, you'd find yourself in a cavern sort of room/space where you'd have your wine tasting done.

Tastefully decorated with lots of old and new retail items, machinery, and random artifacts; it's as if you're intruding someone else's wine cellar.

winery gadgets

The lady who poured us the wine was stern in a harmless way, almost non-talkative but helpful when you inquired.

I came about a group of travel folks who visited the cellar for a bit of wine tasting, before I knew it, they started jolly singing in English, in their local tongues, and A Cappella a few even.

It's amazing how an environment and surrounding could evoke such emotion and actions from certain people.

This wasn't the only reason I rated this as Top 3 in my list.

For those of you who like, or dislike, sweet wine.

This would be my ultimate sweet white to date.

allan scott late harvest savignon

Go for Allan Scott Late Harvest Savignon. You'll never look at sweet white the same again.

allan scott wine list

Ever imagine what it's like to see Winnie the Pooh savor honey when you were young on TV? or how love-making was like when you read romance novel when they describe certain action to be sweet like honey?

The first time I tasted honey (when a kid), as in real honey, I was fairly disappointed how just plainly sweet and boring it was. To be compared in equivalence with the sweetest most exquisite act when used in describing an ultimate emotion/pleasure was really, well, exaggerating.

Not to mention my over-expectation to the food honey.

Since then I've always envisioned something out there that would be sweeter, richer, thicker than honey but non-sickening in taste.

Drinking Allan Scott Late Harvest Savignon gave me that sweet sensation I've been envisioning all my life.

It's like drinking honey, no, more exquisite than honey, like a burst of sweetness in your mouth which slowly spreads all over your tongue, before consecutively moving down your throat and sending your a thrill sensation that you've just tasted the forbidden apple.

It would prompt you to savor it slowly, but eagerly, simply because it's made so fine, so delicate and delicious, you would want to drink it again and again.

Sucky part is, they don't export to Malaysia. :(

Number 2:

Spy Valley

Spy Valley would easily have topped my first place in Best Wineries if the current Number 1 placing isn't so damn fabulous itself.

One cannot doubt the presentation of Spy Valley as the infrastructure of the winery itself is really impressive, modernly designed and looking very new.

spy valley

But it wasn't the structure that brought me here.

I'll tell you a story.

A year ago I travelled to Australia and met up with my cousin who was then based in Canberra (still is), she brought me out to dinner in a fine restaurant one night, and being rather new to wines, the waiter recommended something light to me while my wine mature cousin went for the strong red.

It was then I first tasted Spy Valley's Gewurztraminer. (click on the link to see the photo of the wine I taken a year back)

You know the saying goes that if you're a good wine connoisseur, you'll be able to not only distinguish but also remember the taste and smell of the wine even after ten years?

Believe it or not. The taste stuck.

It was light, not too sweet, but sweet enough, slightly spicy but very adequately placed (as I normally dislike wine that has too strong of a spice flavour), and a tinge of lychee, it went superbly well with my fish that night.

And for as long as I was in Australia, and after my return there again the year after, I scouted for the same particular wine in every possible bottle shop I passed by. Alas, to no avail.

It was then I decided that if there's ever a way that I should locate this wine, it will be in Marlborough wine country, NEW ZEALAND itself.

No where else and none other than the producer of such fine wine - Spy Valley.

purchasing a spy valley

I got my wish~! ^^ After year long searching.
Damn I must be the most determined wine seeker ever.
(Next off, I need to go to Asti in Italy)

And no surprise when I found out that the fantastic Gewurztraminer here was a multiple awards winner all around.

spy valley famous gewurztraminer

The other wine I was tempted to buy here was the Noble Riesling. Simply deli-sh!

sky valley two best wine

Alas it's not purchasable online. :((

Number 1:


Finally, the top list of winery in Marlborough goes to, no surprise here, HERZOG!!!


You've probably seen a trend here, as I move higher up in the list, the longer the story goes. So I'll try to keep things short, simple and sweet here.

Afterall, it's won't be difficult to see why Herzog would be in my top list.

First off, Herzog offered one of the fine boutique restaurant dining experiences you can find here in Marlborough. No joke, their freaking appetizer cost me NZD 24.

salami slices salad

Their dining tables stretched from the indoor to their private garden at the back.

standing in herzog garden

Which set the perfect ambiance of dining couples who just want a quiet romantic time together.

And if you look at the map, they're located at the top left of the region, right next to the river in a very secluded end of the small road.

herzog in marlborough map

Other than offering 5 star food and services, their wines were pretty exclusive too.

herzog wines

How exclusive? Let's just say if you want to "taste" the wine, you gotta pay.

10 kiwi dollars for 3 pop.

herzog wine list

And if you notice, their wines are of a higher pricing range compare to the rest of New Zealand retail wines, easily double the amount.

I had a glass of Botrytis during my meal there, it was rather exquisite. Generously priced and paid (by me T_T) at NZD12 per glass.

You know the fact goes that the best things in life are also the rarest to find?

Well, Herzog does not export their wines to anywhere else at all. Which means their wines are only purchasable at cellar door.

This is mainly because, according to them, their wines are so limited each year in production, they could manage sell off everything without the aid of exportation.

That's probably why you've never heard of it, case in fact that if you're a wine connoisseur.

purchasing a herzog

So I brought home a bottle of my most expensive wine ever bought for personal consumption.

Hello my golden Botrytis Chardonnay

Bye bye NZD114.


3 kissed Nicole

  1. Awesome list! Thanks for that! I'm in Tassie at the moment, so will try to hunt for them here. Hope the Allan Scott wines are imported to Tassie! Would love to try them.

  2. muahaha, nicole! you can change your blog name to Wine Heaven already!!! suit you more XD i want eat the cheese souffle~~~ om nom nom