The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Is your Montana Sauv not so Kiwi after all?

Popular wine label Montana has been criticised for choosing to use Australian grapes over New Zealand grapes in two of its latest vintages.

According to a report from the NZ Herald, Montana’s Classic 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and Classic 2016 Pinot Noir have both been made using grapes from across the ditch.

Master of Wine Bob Campbell, who worked for Montana as an accountant in the ‘70s, has criticised the move in an online column, calling it “deceptive”.

Campbell told the NZ Herald that Marlborough Sauvignon grapes typically produce “punchy, aromatic, zesty, tropical” flavours, while Australian grapes have “much less” character. “Australian Sauvignon Blanc is, by and large, inferior,” he said.

Montana was bought by Pernod Ricard in 2010 and was eventually renamed Brancott Estate.

Pernod Ricard New Zealand Managing Director Kevin Mapson told the NZ Herald that increased demand and the rising costs of New Zealand grapes meant it was increasingly challenging to produce New Zealand-sourced wine that could be sold for under $10.

“By sourcing grapes from Australia, we can continue to make wines of the quality that Montana consumers expect at the same price point. This sourcing transition only applies to the Montana Classics and Montana Affinity ranges. All the other Montana ranges will continue to be made from New Zealand grapes,” he said.