New Zealand winemaker Kim Crawford has marked the expiration of his restraint-of-trade period with the release of a new wine brand in the country.

With his wife, Erica, Crawford has launched the Loveblock range in New Zealand. The brand, which comprises four varietals including a Riesling and a Gewurztraminer. A Pinot Noir is set to follow, with all expressions sourced from the couple's 85 hectares of vineyard on the hills overlooking the Awatere Valley in Marlborough, on New Zealand's south island.

Crawford was bound by a restraint-of-trade clause after he sold his namesake brand to Vincor International in 2003. The brand is now owned by Constellation Brands after the US-based company acquired Vincor in 2006.

The abv of the varietals vary from 12% for the Riesling to 14% for the Gewurztraminer. Retail price in New Zealand is around NZD24 (US$20) per bottle for the whites and NZD40 for the Pinot Noir.

The wines will also be available in the US, with Terlato International handling distribution. Links with distributors in Europe are yet to be finalised.

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