A new initiative has been launched to safeguard Marlborough’s wine reputation and Lawson’s Dry Hills is among the first to jump on board.
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 led by Ivan Sutherland of Dog Point Vineyards, 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.
The majority of the process will be based on the honesty and integrity of members and on the correctness of certifications they are required to submit. Members agreed that underpinning these arrangements, there needs to be a system for inspections and audit.
*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.