Martinborough was founded by John Martin, an Irish immigrant.
He purchased farmland and from this he developed 593 town sections
with the first of these being sold in 1879. He planned the street
layout in the form of the Union Jack and the streets are named after places he
visited during a world tour in 1875 - such names as New York,
Cologne, Strasbourg, Venice, Suez.
The towns economy was based on traditional sheep farming
with some dairying, from original settlement until the 1970s.
Since the planting of grapevines commercially in the
the late 1970s the economy of Martinborough and
the surrounding region has become considerably
Martinborough has become internationally
recognised for its Pinot Noir especially and its other
award winning wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc & Reisling.
Martinborough is approximately one hours drive from Wellington,
and the town and surrounding area offer many activities besides
its vineyards and wine tasting. Some of those activities
include - trout & sea fishing, canoeing, kayaking, jetboating,
horse trekking, glowworm caves, 4 WD quadbikes, Cape Palliser
lighthouse & furseal colony, Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre, hotair
ballooning, 18 hole golfcourse, tennis courts, claybird shooting,
antique, art & craft shops.