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Marlborough celebrates 40 years with a record 2013 harvest

Published:  22 August, 2013

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first grapes planted in Marlborough at Brancott Estate and coincides with New Zealand's recording-breaking 2013 harvest of 345,000 tonnes.

Marlborough, best known for producing world-class Sauvignon Blancs, continues to be the crown jewel region of New Zealand's wine-producing areas.

"Fast-forward 40 years and Marlborough is now a world brand," said Philip Gregan, chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers. "Planting those vines was probably the single most important event in the history of the New Zealand wine industry."

Marlborough is the largest wine-producing region in New Zealand with 23,232ha and makes up 75% of the country's total production. Wine exports from the region are now valued at NZ$900 million a year. 

Steve Green, chairman of New Zealand Winegrowers, said: "Winemakers have welcomed the more normal 2013 harvest as the improved supply will facilitate renewed export growth in the year ahead."  

New Zealand experienced ideal grape-growing conditions with a long dry summer providing well balanced, well-ripened fruit. The 2013 crop is up 28% on the small 2012 harvest but up only 5% on 2011.

Globally, consumers continue to respond to the vibrant, distinctive qualities of New Zealand wine, said Green.