Where to find that wonderful wine
The 2012 souvenir wine trail map of Marlborough wineries and wines is the 16th edition to be produced by Wairau Valley grape grower Mike Veal.
Mr Veal and his wife Judy Veal began producing the maps in 1996 when they owned and operated Hawkesbridge Winery near Renwick.
Mr Veal said various efforts to create a wine trail map for tourists "never really got off the ground", so he took the project on himself, bought the image of the map and approached wineries to get involved.
"We could see the need for a map of the region's wineries, and obviously other people agreed because it is still going.
"People love it because after sampling wines they can take it back home with them and use it to jog their memories of the wines they enjoyed on their trip," Mr Veal said.
The map gives an updated rundown of Marlborough wine industry statistics, and every year Mr Veal approaches wineries to sell them space on the map.
The map of the Wairau Valley, shows the locations of all the participating wineries, and carries their labels so people know what to look for when confronted with a wall of wines.
Ten thousand copies of the maps are made annually and wineries sell them for $2 - $3 to make their money back, or simply give them away, he said.
The 16 editions of the map constitute a "potted history" of Marlborough's wine industry, he said.
In 2005, when the industry was booming, there were more than 40 wineries on the map.
In the latest edition 29 wineries have chosen to take part and some of the wineries in the 2005 map have since closed down.
Mr Veal said he will continue to produce the map as long as there is demand for it.
- The Marlborough Express