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In general, New Zealanders are less concerned about legalistic labelling than Europeans, believing that a wine sells on taste rather than provenance.

Like other New World countries, New Zealand's wine producers for years used French and German wine names to authenticate the style of their wines. Since 1983 wine laws have been tightened, with grape varietal labelling now being the most common practice. A varietal wine must contain 75% of the variety named: if it is a blended wine, the predominant grape is named first. Other information is standard: vintage, producer, contents and alcohol level. The words 'estate-bottled" may be seen, but this is less significant in New Zealand where it is common for grapes to be moved hundreds of kilometres from vineyard to winery.

Regional names appear on wine labels if the grapes are predominantly from that area: Marlborough and Hawke's Bay are the most common regional names seen. The Wairarapa/Martinborough region has a voluntary labelling system whereby a wine can be certified as 100% from that area by carrying a sticker that says "100 % Martinborough Terrace Appellation Committee'.

It is hoped that by 1995 a system of "Certified Origin' will be in force for New Zealand wines. This will guarantee the geographical origin of the grapes when a regional name is claimed on the wine's label. It will also guarantee the grape varieties and the vintage of wines whose labels claim a geographical origin. This system will include all New Zealand wines that carry a geographical locator on their label.

Wine regions of the world.

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