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Letters: A welcome addition

Published:  18 January, 2007

Well done on the new New Zealand column (Harpers, 18 November); it's about time that we got our own spot on Harpers top shelf.

Jo Burzynska makes a good point about currency fluctuations, which have had a significant impact on the fortunes of New Zealand wine exports over the years. Actually, the New Zealand dollar bottomed out against the pound in Oct/Nov 2000, not 2001 as implied in her column. But historic lows were also experienced in mid-1992 and in September 1986, when the New Zealand dollar was also in freefall against the other major currencies. Coincidentally, 1986 was the year that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc - and one wine in particular - hit the big time: Cloudy Bay. Once again, it was the right wine, in the right place, at the right time.

With regard to Diageo walking away from Montana, it should not be forgotten that Montana downgraded its earnings only a couple of months after Allied Domecq won it in a fierce bidding war with Lion Nathan in 2001. But since then the company has blossomed under the new ownership with a number of exciting new products. There is also a delicious irony that the head of Pernod Ricard's New Zealand operation was once CEO of Corbans, which was swallowed up by Montana in 2000.

I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

Paul Tudor

wine writer, Auckland