Marlborough winemakers are welcoming the development of a quality mark to protect the authenticity, integrity and sustainability of their region's wine.
It's called Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) and has had its first AGM this month after launching in June last year. There are now 45 members, including many of the region’s best known wine companies.
Ivan Sutherland, owner of Dog Point Vineyards says the aim AMW is to protecting the reputation that Marlborough winemakers have worked hard to build.
"It provides the wine buying public of the world with an assurance they can see and trust," he says.
"Wine writers and distributors had welcomed the initiative warmly. Their biggest question has been why it took so long to happen."
Cloudy Bay Estate Director Yang Shen says the AMW mark is a necessary evolution for a maturing wine industry, with an increasing number of producers, wines, markets and motivations.
“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.”
AMW members must ensure their wine is made from grapes grown entirely in Marlborough and cropped at or under stipulated levels, set according to the season, the grape variety and the land. Where yields exceed the level set, a wine can be certified following approval from an experienced tasting panel.
AMW wines must also be made with grapes harvested from vineyards certified as sustainable, and must be bottled in New Zealand. This is to avoid the risk of adulteration.
“Marlborough makes extraordinary wines that have put this region on the map. Appellation Marlborough Wine is an important step to make sure we stay there.”