The Marlborough region, located at the top of New Zealand's South Island, churns out a staggering quantity of pungent, popular sauvignon blanc each year. Much of this wine is fun, attractively priced and easy to drink - often slightly sweet and full of sav blanc's immediately identifiable grassy, passionfruity perfume. But the region is also home to some top-quality winemakers, producing much more complex, satisfying and drier wines - fantastic partners for the fresh, green flavours of spring vegetables. The best wines tend to be from single vineyards. The three below are from the central Wairau Valley sub-region of Marlborough, but, despite being located just a couple of kilometres from each other, are distinctly different in style. So much for the criticism that all Marlborough savvies taste the same. - Max Allen
A crisp, dry Marlborough white brings out the spring-fresh flavours in a warm salad of asparagus and broad beans.