News & Events

Appellation Marlborough Wine Press Release

Press Release – Monday 20 May 2019

“It provides the wine buying public of the world with an assurance they can see and trust.” Ivan Sutherland

Appellation Marlborough Wine – a promise of provenance

Marlborough’s wine industry has welcomed the development of a quality mark to protect the authenticity, integrity and sustainability of Marlborough wine.

Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) was launched in June last year and now has 45 members, including some of the region’s most iconic wine companies.

Speaking at the AGM last week, chair Ivan Sutherland, owner of Dog Point Vineyards, said there were already 30 Sauvignon Blanc labels from the 2018 vintage wearing the quality mark, giving consumers confidence in the provenance of their wine.

“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.”

Sutherland said wine writers and distributors had welcomed the initiative warmly, with their most pressing question being ‘why did it take so long to eventuate?’

Cloudy Bay Estate Director Yang Shen said the AMW brand was a necessary evolution for a maturing wine industry, with its increasing range 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.”

To bear the AMW brand, members have to ensure the wine is made from grapes grown entirely in Marlborough and cropped at or under stipulated levels, set according to the season, the variety and the land. Where yields exceed the level set, a wine can be certified if it gets the nod from an experienced tasting panel.

The wines must come from grapes harvested from vineyards certified as sustainable, and must be bottled in New Zealand, avoiding the risk of adulteration.

Sutherland updated the members on work to obtain the necessary international trademarks, which took considerably more time than the New Zealand trademark, which was settled before last year’s launch.

AMW went live with its website on the day of the AGM, and he called on members to consider how to showcase the quality mark at trade and consumer events, helping build confidence in the brand as a signature of 100% Marlborough wine.

“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.”