Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

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Marlborough wine drives authenticity forward

Appellation Marlborough Wine has appointed its first chief executive this year to drive forward the organisation's stamp of authenticity - all wines bearing the official AMW letters must be made from 100% Marlborough grown grapes.

The new role is now filled by Michael Wentworth, who will oversee, promote and protect the AMW mark of authenticity. 

The AMW organisation was formed in 2018 and now has 50 member wineries. The organisation's key goal is authenticity and the guarantee that wines bearing the letter AMW are made entirely from grapes grown in Marlborough. This means their producers have not taken advantage of the 15% rule, which allows up to 15% of grapes from another region to be used, without stipulating them. 

“AMW is the future of Marlborough’s wine industry. Our members are leading wine growers with a long-term commitment to protecting and enhancing our region,” says John Buchanan, chair of AMW.

In 2022, AMW introduced the Appellation Marlborough Wine Annual Collection of 12 Sauvignon Blancs made entirely from Marlborough grapes. An extensive blind tasting is undertaken by three impartial judges before a selection of 12 Sauvignon Blancs is decided on.

 “The aim is to highlight the quality and distinctive flavour on offer when you choose 100% Marlborough.” 

The organisation also released its first Wine Map of Marlborough in 2023. It was created by the Marlborough Wine Map Collective and gifted to AMW and its members for their use and is the first map of its kind for the Marlborough grape growing region.

“It is a vital resource in understanding the subregional detail and diversity of Marlborough,” says Buchanan. “We are proud to make it available to the wine community via the AMW website.”