Auckland-based wine company Montana first planted Müller-Thurgau and cabernet sauvignon vines in the Wairau Valley, Marlborough, in August 1973. Most of these died in the summer drought that followed. The company replanted the following year with well-rooted stock, which thrived. In 1976 sauvignon blanc vines were planted. Within a few years Montana was producing world-class wines from its Marlborough plantings – soon followed by other companies and individual wine-growers. The region became New Zealand’s largest wine-growing area.
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