Say hello to Wellington Wine Country

Murdoch James

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Is Wairarapa a sub-region north of the Martinborough sub-region, or is it the greater region that includes Martinborough? Are Gladstone and Masterton sub-regions within the Wairarapa region or sub-region? It’s confusing.

Technically the southern tip of the North Island is the Wellington region. That includes Masterton, Gladstone, Wairarapa, Martinborough and the Kapiti Coast. Winemakers within the Wellington region have now banded together under a single umbrella called Wellington Wine Country.

“Wellington Wine Country has been 10 years in the making and we are thrilled to be launching our new collaborative and inclusive organisation. We are really pleased with the amount of industry support we have behind us and are looking forward to an exciting next few months.”

Said Chair of Wellington Wine Country, Ms Nicola Belsham.

Three sub-regions that produce some of New Zealand’s distinguished wine – Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton – make up Wellington Wine Country. Producing just 1.4% of New Zealand’s total production, yet representing nearly 10% of New Zealand’s total wine producers.

Wellington Wine Country is a marketing organisation. They will promote wines and wine producers from the greater Wellington wine region and its three sub-regions Martinborough, Gladstone and Masterton. Wairarapa has been replaced by its sub-regions Masterton and Gladstone because research suggests that consumers don’t have a clear vision of where the Wairarapa begins and ends and it is too easily confused with Waipara.

The pending Geographical Indications (GI) bill seems likely to continue to recognise Wairarapa. A producer in, say, Gladstone, will probably be able to label their wine as being from Gladstone, Wairarapa, Wellington or New Zealand.

Well, that clears up the confusion then.

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