Waipara changes its name
North Canterbury is the new Waipara. Waipara winemakers are gradually dropping Waipara from labels and websites and replacing it with North Canterbury.
Pegasus Bay marketing manager, Ed Donaldson, explained that there was simply too much confusion between Waipara (muddy water), Wairarapa (glistening water), Waiheke (ebbing water) and Waipawa (dead water).
“Our customers in overseas markets have trouble pronouncing Waipara with added confusion from at least three other wine regions beginning with ‘wai’.”
The boundaries of the larger North Canterbury region go from the Rakaia River in the south to the border with Marlborough in the north and from the Southern Alps to the coast. North Canterbury will become more diverse as it encompasses sub-regions such as Waipara, the Canterbury Plains, Waikari, Omihi, Cheviot and Banks Peninsula.
The move was fuelled by the new Geographic Indications Act, which encourages wine producers to establish and register clear boundaries.
An interesting fall-out from the new boundaries might be the wine sub-region of Kekerengu, which describes itself as being in Marlborough but is clearly south of the existing Marlborough regional boundary. Winemakers who use grapes from this small but exciting area might be forced to label their change their region to North Canterbury.