is located at the northeast of New Zealand
's South Island
, to the south of the Marlborough Sounds
. The area lends its name to one of the best known New World white wines (Cloudy Bay Vineyards
Sauvignon Blanc) although the grapes used in production of that wine are grown in the Marlborough wine region further inland.
The bay faces Cook Strait
, stretching north-south over a distance of 30 kilometres from the southern extremity of the Marlborough Sounds (Port Underwood) to White Bluffs. Along its length is the delta
of the Wairau River
, which reaches the sea at two points. The southern of these forms an entrance to the Big Lagoon, just to the north of White Bluffs.
Archaeological excavations at Wairau Bar indicate that Māori
were living there in the 'moa-hunter' period (c.
AD1000-1300). Cloudy Bay was named by Captain James Cook
on 7 February 1770. They were followed by whalers with John Guard
setting up a whaling station at Port Underwood in 1828. probably the largest concentration in the South Island
at that time. On 17 June 1840 the......