The world's most southerly wine region is investigating protection of its brand through regional trademarking.

New Zealand's Central Otago Winegrowers' Association president Martin Anderson has told local media that a recent legislation change would allow registration of regional Geographic Indicators (GI) to protect wine of a defined area. GI registration would indicate that a wine is from a specific geographic origin, is of a particular quality and have certain characteristics.

The association would need to define the region's boundaries and characteristics of local wines before a GI could be approved.

Central Otago's best known variety is Pinot Noir which accounts for 70% of the almost 5m bottles of wine produced annually.