Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

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Marlborough's stamp of wine integrity expands

Marlborough's wine integrity just got a massive shot in the arm with the extension of the region's four year old authenticity trademark, AMW. 

The acronym stands for Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW). It was launched in 2018 and from this year onwards, it will cover all wines produced in the region, not only Sauvignon Blanc which was the first wine to benefit from the authenticity certification. In essence, the AMW trademark is a legal logo that can be applied to all Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs that comply with AMW's criteria, the main one being that all grapes in the wine are grown in the region. From 2022 onwards, all wines produced in the region can now use the AMW stamp. 

“These recent refinements strengthen our quality standards and add further credibility to the original values of our appellation - to guarantee that a wine is 100 per cent Marlborough if the word Marlborough is on the label,” says Ivan Sutherland, AMW chair and co-founder of Dog Point Vineyards. 

Appellation Marlborough Wine was introduced in 2018 to protect the brand of Marlborough wine by establishing standards that provide reassurance to consumers and enhance the credibility of wineries in the region. Up to now, AMW has focused its attention on the region’s most iconic varietal, Sauvignon Blanc, seeing it as the most at risk from containing small portions of grapes or wine made in other regions. It is legal to add up to 15 per cent of another grape variety, another region or another vintage to what is stated on the front label. 

AMW’s 50 plus members voted that the organisation was now in a position to include all varietals under its accreditation umbrella. 

AMW coordinator Amanda McRae says several members have commenced the process of certifying their 2021 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. “It has always been the plan to incorporate the broader Marlborough wine offering, but we wanted to start AMW with our region’s flagship varietal and get all the right protocols in place. It is now clear that AMW provides value to our Sauvignon Blanc. Members have been quick to agree that it is time to extend the certification programme to other varietals.” 

 * Appellation Marlborough Wine™ was established in 2018 with a strict certification process that producers apply for. AMW is a legal trademark.