The protection of ‘brand Marlborough’ has been under discussion for some years but with the proliferation of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc labels over recent times, a group of key industry people, which includes John Forrest, Ivan Sutherland, Clive Jones, John Buchanan & James Healy, have been spurred into action.

Under the name Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW), the aim of the initiative is to protect the integrity, authenticity and brand value of wines produced in Marlborough.  The initial focus is on Sauvignon Blanc only.

To communicate this to the market, an Appellation Marlborough Wine mark has been developed for use on packaging and collateral (appertaining to the relevant wines only).

To use it, producers must sign a licence agreement comprised of the following standards and quality parameters, declaring each wine submitted is:

  • Made only from 100% Marlborough-grown grapes
  • Made only from grapes grown in vineyards which are certified as part of a recognised sustainable viticultural program
  • Made only from grapes grown at an appropriate cropping level* (each year the licensor will notify the licensee of the cropping level which will be expressed as tonnes of grapes per net producing hectare and be pertinent to each separate vineyard parcel)
  • Bottled in New Zealand.

*If grapes used to produce the certified wine do not comply with the licensor’s desired cropping level, then the licensee may submit the wine with any necessary supporting evidence to the licensor’s wine tasting panel which at its absolute discretion may permit that wine to become certified. The tasting panel shall be entirely set by the licensor and the decision of that panel shall be final and binding.

Several wineries will be using the AMW mark on their wine labels and supporting marketing collateral from vintage 2019 onwards.