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I wonder how far this will get – it sounds great to me, a real attempt to inject a little unique New Zealand culture onto one of their most successful exports. A New Zealand writer has proposed that a new system of wine classification be instigated; one that uses the Maori language.

I am sure many marketing people will diss the idea as the words are not familiar and unpronounceable by some. Still I like the idea of Huka (foaming) for Methode Traditionale and Totwhenua (earth’s blood) for red wines. Then there is Kartaka (fragrant) that describes Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc for example. The whole system is called Whakararangi, which admittedly is a bit of a mouthful.

Keith Stuart has just released a new book (The Great Wines of New Zealand) where he features those local vineyards that produce the best wines according to his classification system. The book isn’t (yet?) listed on Amazon; the link above is to the publishers site in New Zealand. The ISBN is 0670045632.


  1. “I am sure many marketing people will diss the idea as the words are not familiar and unpronounceable by some.”
    Many probably will, but Garretson seems to do okay with their Gaelic names.

  2. Andrew says:

    A name/outfit new to me is that one Derrick.
    Isnt one of the downfalls of German wine always quoted as being the germanic names and long words they create?

  3. Dave says:

    The Maori kicked up a stink when Tohu was released, because they didn’t get permission to use a Maori word on the label…..hard to pronounce….nice idea though


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