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Marlborough Celebrates 40 Years

21 August 2013

Marlborough Celebrates 40 Years

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the first modern day planting of grapes in Marlborough. On August 24 1973 Brancott Estate (formerly Montana) planted the first vines in Brancott Valley, marking the beginning of an internationally acclaimed grape-growing region and a New Zealand success story.

Marlborough's high sunshine, low rainfall, and free draining soil were the driving factors in the decision to plant vines in the region. Many thought the pioneers were crazy, but the risk paid off. "Fast forward 40 years and Marlborough is now a world brand" said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. "Planting those vines was probably the single most important event in the history of the New Zealand wine industry."

Patrick Materman, chief winemaker for Brancott Estate comments, “At the time, the founder of what is now Brancott Estate, Frank Yukich, made the statement that “wines from here will become world-famous” – and indeed they have.”

The region is synonymous with world-class Sauvignon blanc and is adding to its stellar reputation with Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot noir. With 23,232 hectares of land planted with grapes, Marlborough is the largest wine producing region in New Zealand and makes up 75% of the country's total production. Wine exports from the region are now valued at $900 million a year.


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