New Zealand wine and spirit makers will soon be able to register their geographical indications, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Ministers Jacqui Dean has told New Zealand Winegrowers.

“A key contributor to the reputation of New Zealand wine is the industry’s use of geographical indications – that is regional names like Marlborough or Central Otago. Legislation to enable the wine industry to formally register their geographical indications in New Zealand is on track to come into force in late July,” said Dean. “Registering regional names for our wine and spirits will reinforce the qualities and reputation of these products. It will also make it easier for exporters to promote and protect their wine and spirits in some overseas markets.

Although the base legislation has been in place since 2006, it has never been enforced. This new move was welcomed by the Central Otago Winegrowers Association.

“For a region that has established such a strong and positive brand reputation in a relatively short space of time, the ability to formally recognise and protect the [Central Otago] brand name is a significant milestone for the wine industry,” said general manager Glenys Coughlan.