Montana changes brand for export wines

MONTANA TO BRACOTT: Pernod Ricard national wineries manager Gerry Gregg with the different brands.
SCOTT HAMMOND/Marlborough Express
MONTANA TO BRACOTT: Pernod Ricard national wineries manager Gerry Gregg with the different brands.

Montana has rebranded all its export wines under its Brancott Estate label.

The company which helped put Marlborough on the world map by planting sauvignon blanc in the province, has renamed its export wine to bear the name of the vineyard where it planted its first sauvignon blanc vines.

Pernod Ricard national wineries manager Gerry Gregg said wine sold to the United States was already labelled Brancott Estate, to avoid confusion with the state of Montana, but exports to Britain and Australia would now also bear the name.

Premium wines in the current Montana range, including Montana Reserves, Montana Letter Series and Montana Living Land, would also change to the Brancott Estate brand, but the classics range sold in New Zealand would retain the Montana label due to New Zealanders' association with it, Mr Gregg said.

Brancott Estate, in Fairhall, was the first Marlborough vineyard planted with sauvignon blanc, in 1975.

The new brand is the first New Zealand-based sponsor of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Mr Gregg has worked for Montana since 1976 when he was involved in designing and building up the winery.

Mr Gregg said it was great that the new brand was linked strongly with Marlborough where it all began.

"It's an iconic vineyard, very picturesque ... and it's our place."

He said the 34 years at the winery had gone quickly.

"In our game you go from one vintage to another ... most people say it's been a journey; I'd say it's been like one big drink with a few burps and hiccups in between."

The Marlborough Express