Montana Wines has been rechristened Allied Domecq Wines NZ Limited in a move that reflects the European ownership of New Zealand's largest and most influential wine producer.
"Now that the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allied Domecq, [the name change] offers a simple solution that protects the brands within the business," managing director Brian Johnston said.
Until the late 1980s, virtually all of the company's wines were marketed under the Montana name. Since then, there has been a proliferation of different brands as the company set up new wineries and purchased existing ones. The company decided not to use the Montana brand in the United States and Canada because of concerns about confusion with the state of Montana, so the wines are marketed there as Brancott Vineyards, Stoneleigh, Longridge, Huntaway and Corbans.
Montana, meaning mountain, was the name given to a vineyard planted in the hills west of Auckland in 1934 by Yugoslav immigrant Ivan Yukich. Today, the company crushes around one-third of New Zealand's annual grape harvest and owns 7,600 acres of vineyards. It was purchased in 2001 by London-based Allied Domecq, which owns wineries around the world.