First 2013 sauvignon blanc ready to roll

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 14:15 20/05/2013
Rachel Crouch
Scott Hammond

Early treat: Wine Bottlers Marlborough customer experience manager Rachel Crouch holds the first bottle of 2013 sauvignon blanc.

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The first run of Marlborough 2013 sauvignon blanc was bottled last week, about two months earlier than usual.

Wine Bottlers Marlborough chief executive Jason Gluer said 20,000 litres of Rossendale Sauvignon Blanc would be ready to ship to the United States this week.

"It's tasting good," Mr Gluer said. "For such a young wine, the quality is exceptional."

Bottling usually got into full swing by the second week of July, with staff at the bottling company working around the clock to get the wine bottled.

From Wednesday, the Cloudy Bay Business Park bottling plant would be running around the clock, Mr Gluer said.

"February and March were our biggest on record," he said.

"Nobody was sure how much [fruit] was coming in so they've been emptying all their wine so they could have the tank space."

More than 3 million bottles of clean skin wine were sitting in the factory, while more than 4 million were labelled and ready to go.

"There was a slightly high yield this year, but the general feeling from winemakers is the quality they produced is great," Mr Gluer said.

"The industry is feeling really positive. It's really good to see."

Wine Bottlers Marlborough customer experience manager Rachel Crouch said the company was seeing demand from wineries to get their product to market earlier.

"Every year seems to get a bit earlier," she said.

"This year the nice weather helped the grapes ripen up that little bit quicker."

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- The Marlborough Express

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