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Appellation Marlborough Wine grows to 49 members

Published:  22 October, 2019

Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) has reached a total of 49 members in the 18 months since launch, boasting over 90 certified wines from some of the region’s leading wine producers.

Introduced and trademark registered in June 2018, the primary aim of the initiative is to protect the origin, authenticity and integrity of wines produced in Marlborough.

It is initially focussed on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, to protect and promote wines that are made from 100% Marlborough grapes, grown sustainably from Marlborough vineyards and bottled in New Zealand.

“Appellation Marlborough Wine is about protecting the reputation this region has worked hard to build. It provides the wine buying public of the world with an assurance they can see and trust,” said AMW chair and owner of Dog Point Vineyards Ivan Sutherland.

“We’ve now trademarked the brand in all of the key global wine markets which has been a huge undertaking. This is the first step in protecting a NZ wine that has now become a global icon.”

To carry the AMW stamp on their bottles, wine companies undergo a lengthy application process. Wines certified so far include some of the region’s most iconic wine companies, including Famingham, Dog Point Vineyards, Cloudy Bay, Clos Henri and Greywacke.

The AMW brand was a “necessary evolution” for a maturing wine industry, with its increasing range of producers, wines, markets and motivations, said Cloudy Bay Estate director Yang Shen.

“Our members know that it is vital to protect the integrity of our industry, recognising that Marlborough wine is globally unique, extraordinary and 100% worth protecting.”

To become a member, producers have to ensure their wine is made from grapes grown entirely in Marlborough and cropped at or below set parameters, established according to soil type and vine density variability.

If a proposed wine contains any portion exceeding that level, it must be approved by an independent panel of qualified, experienced local producers. The wines must come from grapes harvested from vineyards certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, and must be bottled in New Zealand, under New Zealand regulations.

A total of 85% of all wine exported from New Zealand is Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with a total export value reaching a record $1.83bn (2019 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers).