Appellation Marlborough Wine: What’s the deal?

Appellation Marlborough Wine has one goal: to protect Marlborough wine for future generations to enjoy.

Oh, Marlborough Sauvignon. We owe it so much. Without this stellar white, who knows where New Zealand’s wine industry would be today.

A quick recap for ya. In the 1980s, a previously ignored winemaking region began to make some SERIOUS moves on the world stage. That region was Marlborough: a land once dominated by sheep holdings and barley plantings. Wines from producers like Cloudy Bay began scooping up awards at international shows. Consumers across the globe began taking notice. It was official: Marlborough was on the world map, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Of course, when you have a brand new region packed with potential, there are always challenges. Cheaper bulk wines are created to meet popular demand. People skimp on quality, in favour of quantity. So how do you keep making sure a region is producing what it needs to, in order to stay on top? That’s where Appellation Marlborough Wine come in.

We loooove Sauvignon.

Appellation Marlborough Wine

Appellation Marlborough Wine was introduced in 2018, with the aim of protecting the reputation of Marlborough wine.

How do they do this? By providing a list of guidelines for producers to stick to, if they want to create something of quality. Now, the AMW icon on a bottle is the only guarantee that whatever you’re drinking is 100% Marlborough: nothing else, and no exceptions.

This icon on any label guarantees absolute quality

The Appellation Marlborough Wine Checklist

  • 100% Marlborough grapes, grown in Marlborough vineyards, are the only grapes permitted to be used
  • Wines must be bottled in New Zealand.
  • Vineyards must be certified by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.
  • Wines must be made from grapes cropped at or below set parameters, established according to soil type and vine density variability

When a wine has all these features, it’s eligible for an Appellation Marlborough Wine trademark icon on its label. That’s a sure-fire confirmation that it’s a wine of authenticity, integrity, and provenance: in short – a wine you want to drink!

Our Appellation Marlborough Wine producers

Cloudy Bay

The big one. Arguably New Zealand’s most well-known winery, Cloudy Bay was the one to put NZ Sauvignon on the map. In fact, the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was the country’s first ever internationally exported wine.

Its crisp, elegant, and intense tropical fruit flavours were a HUGE departure from the Old World styles of Sauvignon – and people lapped it up. The winery has bumped up volume since then – a good thing, considering that its first ever export was near impossible to get hold of. But, they’ve never skimped on quality, and it remains one of NZ’s favourite wineries to this day.

The stunning vineyards at Cloudy Bay produce some of New Zealand’s favourite wines

Dog Point

Everyone knows that when you have a bottle of Dog Point, it’s going to be good quality. Founders Ivan Sutherland and James Healy met while working at Cloudy Bay, and decided to branch out and make their own wines. And we are OH so glad that they did. Their vineyards are certified organic – everything here is environmentally friendly. Ivan and James produce just four wines, with extreme attention to detail, and all of them are EXCELLENT.

Dog Point’s organic range of wines are as fabulous as their winery


There’s no doubt about it: Kevin Judd is a NZ winemaking legend. Few people have had as much influence on Sauvignon Blanc’s ascent to stardom – and for good reason. After time at Cloudy Bay, he launched his solo venture Greywacke, and his wines continue to be some of the very best Marlborough have to offer.

His first Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc was a knockout from the word go. It displays all of the hallmarks of Kevin’s winemaking style: ripe fruit, great acid, balance, and a real sense of distinction.

The vineyard site is rich in smooth ‘greywacke’ stone, after which the winery is named. Photo credit: Kevin Judd


Framingham‘s tagline is ‘We make wine by our own rules’, and their personality and individuality really stand out in everything they do. For them, playing by the rules isn’t half as important as making wines they would like to drink themselves. Which we think makes a lot of sense, really.

What makes Framingham such a standout? They source small batches of grapes from different vineyards, to pack as much flavour, character, personality, and site expression as possible into their wines.

The fab Framingham source grapes from all over Marlborough


A NZ gem of a winery, Nautilus likes to keep things small: in fact, this tiny operation is one of the few wineries in the country to keep things under family ownership for over three decades. Head winemaker Clive Jones has over 20 vintages under his belt, and exercises complete control over what he gets out of the grapes – thanks in part to some fantastic winemaking facilities. The result? Monumentally successful, and delicious, wines.

The small-scale Nautilus has been family-owned for over 30 years

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