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Featured Publication
May 2002

100 Years of Kiwiana
Corbans Centenary Edition 1902-2002
by Richard Wolfe and Stephen Barnett

100 years of Kiwiana
published in 2002 by Corbans Wines

What do Jandals, Edmonds Baking Powder, Ches 'n Dale from down on the farm, L & P and the Buzzy Bee have in common? They are all Kiwi icons, part of the culture that we here in good old En Zed know as "Kiwiana", the celebration of the New Zealand point of difference.

The celebration of Kiwiana was first published in book form as New Zealand! New Zealand!: In Praise of Kiwiana in 1989 and went on to win a Montana Book Award in 1990.

Stephen Barnett and Richard Wolfe, the authors of the original book have revised their Kiwiana whims in a new edition to celebrate 100 years of Corbans Wines in New Zealand. Appropriately the book is titled "100 Years of Kiwiana" subtitled "Corbans Centenary Edition 1902-2002".

Corbans founder, Assid Abraham Corban (A.A. Corban for short), a Lebanese immigrant from a family with a 300-year history of winemaking, bought 4 hectares of land in Henderson in West Auckland in 1902 and set about planting grapevines.

Corbans now holds a special place in New Zealand winemaking history. Key milestones in Corbans contribution to the New Zealand wine industry include the first plantings of Chardonnay, the introduction of processes such as the use of yeast cultures and temperature controlled fermentation and a sustained export program that began in 1963.

Although Corbans was taken over by Montana in 2000 and Montana was purchased by Allied Domecq last year making it no longer a New Zealand owned company, the Corbans name is here to stay, they say.

It's also the first wine brand to feature as a Kiwiana icon.

New Zealand consumers who buy two bottles of Corbans varietal wines - they are the ones with the stylistic fern frond - up to 15 June 2002 can send their proof of purchase to Corbans to receive a complimentary copy of 100 Years of Kiwiana. Details in store. Otherwise the book will cost you NZ$15.95.

It's definitely a book that brings back memories of our popular culture past and present.

For more on the history of Corbans, check out the Corbans website

For more on Kiwiana take a look at the town of Otorohanga, in New Zealand's middle north. This rural town is priding itself as the "Kiwiana Town" of New Zealand. Check it out at

Some parts of this review appeared in my column in The Rodney Times dated 17 May 2002.

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