The Darling Wines of Marlborough

A winemaker at Matua in Marlborough, Chris Darling originally hails from Geelong in Victoria, Australia. Following extensive winemaking experience in Australia and in Europe, he arrived in New Zealand in 2003 to take up a role at the then Rapaura Vintners. As with most winemakers, the urge to have his own label grew, and he established ‘The Darling’ in 2007 with guru organic viticulturist Bart Arnst, the first wines produced in 2008. The partnership have proved to be a very complementary one with the aim of producing small quantities of interesting Marlborough wines from organically grown fruit. Though not owing their own land, Chris and Bart can source fruit for ‘The Darling’ from up to five vineyard sites, two in the Wairau Valley, and one each in the Southern Valleys, Rapaura and Upper Renwick districts. The vineyards are managed directly by Bart, and the wines made at the Matua facility by Chris. Due to the quality of and interest in the wines, production has steadily grown to a 3,000 case annual output. Here, I review a selection of new and current releases. They show an attractive elegance of style and the wines possess some detailed differences to the norm.


  • The Darling Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013
  • The Darling Marlborough Pinot Gris 2013
  • The Darling ‘Barrel’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011
  • The Darling Marlborough Chardonnay 2012
  • The Darling Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012
  • The Darling ‘Moscato Inspired’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013

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