New wine fountain could be coming to Marlborough in New Zealand

A wine fountain like those in Italy and Spain could boost tourism in Blenheim, Marlborough, suggests business leader Anthony Mullen.

Wine fountain in Bento Gonçalves, Brazil

It sounds like the stuff of dreams, but a wine fountain in Blenheim, New Zealand could perhaps become a reality.

At a meeting about the Marlborough Mile tourism project, the chairman of the Blenheim Business Association Antony Mullen suggested a wine fountain could promote Marlborough as the home of world-class wines.

He told The Dominion Post: “The fountain would teach visitors about the region and give them something else to do in town. I imagine that people would just walk up to it and fill their water bottles with wine.”

Sadly, there are a number of logistical hurdles to leap through before the wine can flow freely. Mullen added: “Blenheim has a hard enough time running alfresco dining, so in terms of liquor licensing, a wine fountain would be out of the question.”

He also reflected that a wine fountain was perhaps not the best way for New Zealand wine to be taken seriously. He said: “We’re trying to brand the region as having a reputable wine industry, and the fountain would not support this.”

Wine fountain in Caldari di Ortona, Italy

In the UK, a recent report by Accolade Wines revealed the popularity of New Zealand wines is rapidly growing.

Blenheim would not be the first town to install a wine fountain. In 1991, Spanish winery Bodegas Irache opened a wine fountain to spur on travellers on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago.

The fountain pays homage to the famed generosity of the 8th century Benedictine Monastery of Irache to early pilgrims.

In 2016, architect Rocco Valentini donated a wine fountain to the Italian town of Caldari di Ortona in Abruzzo. The project was in partnership with the Dora Sarchese winery and Cammino di San Tommaso, which promotes the pilgrim tail in the region.

Tourists and pilgrims can help themselves to a free glass of red 24/7, but Dora Sarchese warned on their Facebook page that the fountain is “not a place for drunks”.

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