Marlborough trademarks new appellation internationally

Marlborough winemakers have trademarked the new Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW) certificate in key international markets.

The new certification mark was devised and registered in 2018 by a group of producers as a way to distinguish quality producers from bulk blends and better promote the region.

It has now trademarked the appellation in North America, Europe and Asia.

“This is the first step in protecting New Zealand wine that has now become a global icon,” Ivan Sutherland, chair of AMW and owner of Dog Point Vineyards said.

“Appellation Marlborough Wine is about protecting the reputation this region has worked hard to build. It provides our global consumers with an assurance they can see and trust.”

Currently, the AMW certification relates only to Sauvignon Blanc, but it may be extended to other grape varieties in the future, contrasting with current labelling laws, which state that 85% of grapes must be from the origin stated, with 15% of grapes able to be sourced from elsewhere.

The strict mark can only be used if 100% of the grapes used are grown in Marlborough and are part of a recognised sustainable viticultural program. The wine must also be bottled in New Zealand.

It comes as global demand for New Zealand wine is at an all-time high, with total export value to importers and distributors reaching a record NZ$1.83bn, according to New Zealand Winegrowers, with the US remaining as New Zealand’s largest market, worth more than $550 million in exports.

Currently, there are 49 members of AWM, up from 36 when it was established last summer, including some of the region’s most familiar names.

Cloudy Bay estate director Yang Shen said the AMW designation was “vital” to protect the integrity of Marlborough’ industry.

“[It] recognizes that Marlborough wine is globally unique, extraordinary and 100% worth protecting,” he said.

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