Land use information has been captured from 1999 in order to assist with assessing the needs of future irrigation for developing areas. Over the period since that date we have groundtruthed (ground observation) different areas, continually adding to our information base.
Lowland Crop Cover Survey
Council has been actively involved with the national Land Cover Database project coordinated by Landcare Research and Ministry for the Environment. However, the satellite imagery that is used to map land cover types cannot precisely distinguish vineyard at this stage. As vineyard expansion has been the dominant land use trend on the Wairau Plain since the late 1980s, staff considered it imperative for Council to understand patterns of crop conversion and the implications for further water demand.
The aim of the project was to precisely map crop types, define trends and ultimately characterise the satellite signature of vineyards. The report, titled Wairau Plain Land Use and Crop Water Use Trends, prepared by horticultural consultant Murray Neal, was presented to Council's Environment Committee in September 2004.
Vineyard Development Areas
Over the last 13 years groundtruthing (ground observation) of land use has provided information about viticulture coverage in Marlborough. Information has been updated for 2013.
As at September 2013 Marlborough’s total vineyard area is approximately 23,769 hectares.
- Wairau Plains and Valley approximately 16,947 ha
- Awatere Valley and South approximately 6,822 ha
Due to limited land availability, vineyards have been developed over the lower rolling hills of the smaller southern valleys leading onto the Wairau Plain, along the Awatere Valley up to Aotea and through the Blind River complex. There is also a substantial spread west along the Wairau Valley up to the Wye River.
Many of the vineyards are now being irrigated from purpose-built dams due to the marginal water resources available in some areas.
|Map name||Wairau Plain (ha)||Awatere Valley and South (ha)||Total vineyard area (ha)||Area in survey (ha)|
|Marlborough vineyards 2015-16||Being reviewed|
|Marlborough vineyards 2014||24,610|
|Marlborough vineyards September 2013||16,947||6,822||23,769||N/A|
|Marlborough vineyards January 2012||16,686||6,542||23,228||N/A|
|Marlborough vineyards January 2011 (1.4 Mb)||17,082||6,882||23,964||232|
Marlborough vineyards January 2010
Marlborough vineyards June 2009
Marlborough vineyards November 2008
Marlborough vineyards April 2008
Marlborough vineyards October 2007
Marlborough vineyards March 2007
Marlborough vineyards November 2006
Marlborough vineyards December 2005
Marlborough vineyards November 2004
Marlborough vineyards July 2003
Marlborough vineyards July 2002
Marlborough vineyards March 2000
Vineyard data has been captured using a combination of ground observation and aerial photography. The information is intended for use at a regional level not for individual property usage. No liability is accepted by Marlborough District Council for the accuracy of the information, or for any purpose this information is used for. It should be noted that data for October 2007 is different to that published by New Zealand Winegrowers, whose data was collected by a survey of winegrowers.
It is also acknowledged that land use is subject to change and development areas will be checked, data updated and existing data refined periodically to ensure accuracy of information. Vineyard owners are encouraged to verify the information and advise of any inaccuracies.