19 Feb 2009

'Inferior' exports damage country's wine reputation

7:14 am on 19 February 2009

A Marlborough winemaker says large amounts of inferior wine have been sold to Australian supermarkets, degrading New Zealand's reputation.

Ivan Sutherland of Dog Point winery says he has just returned from Australia where he heard of the bulk sales of Marlborough sauvignon blanc.

Mr Sutherland, the former winemaker at Cloudy Bay, says producers anxious to dispose of excess poor-quality wine from the massive 2008 vintage have sold it, to the detriment of Marlborough's good name.

He says some of the later grapes from the 2008 vintage should never have been harvested because of their low quality.