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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
According to Wine Marlborough, 77 percent of New Zealand’s wine production comes from the Marlborough region in the north-eastern corner of New Zealand’s South Island. With commercial plantings beginning in 1973 and the first vintage of Sauvignon Blanc in 1979, Marlborough is a rather young wine region.
However, there are 534 growers, 141 wine companies and more than 59,000 acres of vines planted. The region is awash with wine production and the playing field is rather saturated. But in 2005, two wineries — Crowded House and Catalina Sounds — decided to join on the crowded landscape.
Crowded House was started in 2005 and named aptly for the crowded landscape in Marlborough that they were joining. The wines are made from grapes that showcase the region’s best quality, resulting in wines with vibrant and fresh aromatics, powerful fruit concentration and refreshing acidity.
Catalina Sounds is named after the Catalina flying boats, New Zealand’s famous and largest warbird, made famous in World War II, as well as the nearby majestic Marlborough Sounds. Started 12 years ago, at the same time as Crowded House, the wines of Catalina Sounds are the premium wines with the majority of grapes coming from the Sound of White vineyard in the Waihopai Valley.