Famous NZ winery faces backlash for using Australian grapes

2nd February, 2018 by Natalie Wang

One of New Zealand’s most famous wineries, Montana, is facing a backlash after it was revealed to be using Australian grapes in some of its entry-level wines as a cost-cutting measure in a bid to stay competitive.

The Marlborough winery, owned by Pernod Ricard, said the move to use Australian grapes in its ‘Classic’ and ‘Affinity’ series is a response to rising costs of local grapes and consumer demand for cheaper wines, reported target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>The Guardian.

The wines in question are only being sold in New Zealand and all Brancott Estate labelled wines being sold in export markets continue to use New Zealand-grown fruit Pernod Ricard stressed in a statement to the drinks business, nor do the wines in the ‘Classic’ and ‘Affinity’ ranges state….

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2 Responses to “Famous NZ winery faces backlash for using Australian grapes”

  1. Gary Armstrong says:

    New Zealand wineries have been doing this for years it is nothing new, 10% of grapes (from foreign sources) can be added to wines without having to be labelled. So to publish an article hitting Pernod Ricard because of its standing in New Zealand is in my opinion unfair, I can name some of New Zealand’s most popular wineries that do this but what does it accomplish? No matter your opinion on this matter wineries are complying with the law. So why not write an article to debate the law.

  2. Malcolm says:

    This is something of a beat up. This has been going on for years and not just by the wineries that you have listed late in your article. I am surprised that it has suddenly hit the headlines. This is not news. Frequently wineries have also sold blends of Chilean, or Australian or South African with NZ wine. There was even a reported case of wine that was said to have gone from South Africa to Spain to Australia picking up subsidies along the way. New Zealand law requires the such wines to meet our regulations. Just as we require other countries to have faith in the enforcement of our grape and wine production so we have to rely on the compliance with regulations in the country of origin and ultimately with our standards too. The labels have to declare the country of origin including any blends. The small type size required for such declarations is not unique to wine but all food products.
    We are a high cost country with respect to wine input costs yet consumers are looking cheaper every day wines. If the wineries didn’t bring them in themselves we are likely to find others, such as liquor chains and supermarket chains, taking the opportunity themselves. C0nsumers have the opportunity to vote with their wallets. They don’t have to buy the wine if they don’t want to. Pernod Ricard have not shown themselves to be particularly adept at making decisions regarding their involvement in the NZ wine industry and if consumers don’t want this Australian wine that is their choice and Pernod’s loss. Then there is the aspect of if you can’t beat them join them for there is a quite a lot of very ordinary wine from other countries on our market at low p[rices.
    Just let the buyer be aware of what is in the bottle.

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