It is here, at the northeastern tip of the South Island, that New Zealand’s booming wine industry first took flight. It was the late 1970′s when Marlborough vintners began to capitalize on the region’s hot, dry sunny days and cool night air to produce exceptional sauvignon blanc grapes. Today the Marlborough region produces 79% of New Zealand’s total wine output and has put the distinctively zesty Sauvignon Blanc varietal on the worldwide wine map. In addition to the world’s finest Sauvignon Blancs, the area is also well-known for delightful Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Marlborough’s crisp, fruity Sauvignon Blancs (my favorite) pair perfectly with New Zealand’s delicious green-lipped mussels and just might be the country’s most perfect meal.