How Aussie and Kiwi Wines are Named - dummies

By Maryann Egan

The name of an Australian or New Zealand (Kiwi) wine is usually the most recognizable thing on the wine bottle’s label. In the case of small vineyards, the brand name and the name of the company are usually the same thing.

With the big wine producers, the name of the winery is often different from those of the wines, given that their range is much larger. Take the producer Beringer Blass. In Australia, its portfolio of wines contains household names such as Yellowglen, Wolf Blass and Saltram, along with smaller labels such as St Hubert’s and Yarra Ridge. Likewise in New Zealand, the producer Montana owns the winery known as Montana, but also produces brands such as Stoneleigh Vineyards, Corbans, and Lindauer.

Basically, winemakers can call their wine anything they like — as long as that name isn’t already being used, and somewhere on the bottle the company that produced the wine is listed.

Australian and New Zealand wines are often named after the following:

  • People: ‘Mr Riggs’ is named after owner Ben Riggs from McLaren Vale in South Australia. ‘Margan Family’ wines are made by Andrew Margan in the Hunter Valley.

  • Places: Dromana Estate is named after — you guessed it! — Dromana, on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

  • Local landmarks: Jim Barry’s Clare Valley wine is called ‘The Armagh’, after an historical landmark in the region.

A number of wineries produce a range of wines to cater for the various price points, from the budget purchasers to the high end of the market. They use various names to differentiate these wines. For example, the winery Chard Farm in New Zealand’s Otago region has various names for the different types of Pinot Noir it produces. The cheapest is called ‘Chard Farm River Run’, and the most expensive ‘Chard Farm Bragato’.