Waimea Estates is one of Nelson’s larger producers with over 140 hectares of their own vineyards. The cool climate and alluvial soils of Nelson’s Waimea plains combined with the highest sunshine hours in New Zealand allow vibrant, fruit-focused wines to be made.
Waimea’s export varieties are based on highly awarded Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and over the years Waimea has gathered 150+ Gold Medals and 26 Trophies across nine different wine styles – proving the versatility Waimea and the Nelson region provides. More next month.
A warm summer benefited New Zealand’s winegrowing regions, with 419,000 tonnes of grapes harvested during Vintage 2018.
This is up 6% on the 2017 tonnage but is still lower than initially anticipated in a season marked by a very early start to harvesting.
New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan says many wineries had been hoping for an even larger vintage, given 2017’s small harvest.
“However, we now expect export growth in the year ahead will be modest. It will be up to wineries to manage any product shortages from the vintage.”
In addition to prompting an early harvest, the warm summer produced fruit with good ripeness levels.
A highlight from Vintage 2018 is the increased production of red wines. “Production of both Pinot Noir and Merlot has lifted more than 20% on last year, which will be welcomed by both wineries and consumers. These varieties were down sharply in 2017 and it is very positive to see a return to more normal production levels this year,” Mr Gregan says.
New Zealand Winegrowers is confident Vintage 2018 wines will add to New Zealand’s reputation as a premium producer of cool climate wines.
“Every vintage is different and ultimately the final test is the quality delivered in the bottle to consumers. We are certain that consumers will enjoy the benefits of the warm summer when they get to taste the wines from Vintage 2018,” Mr Gregan says.
New Zealand wine exports are currently valued at $1.71 billion, up 3% in the past year. Wine is New Zealand’s fifth largest export good.
For further information contact:
Philip Gregan Chief Executive Officer New Zealand Winegrowers 021 964564
New Zealand’s wine export values continue to rise thanks to strong United States demand, reaching $1.66 billion for the year, up 6 per cent on the year before.
While the percentage increase is lower than the average yearly growth of 17 per cent for the last 20 years, the industry was still on track to reach $2b worth of exports by 2020, chairman of New Zealand Winegrowers Steve Green said.
The latest NZ Winegrowers annual report shows to the end of June this year, the US market is worth $517 million, up 12 per cent. New Zealand wine became the third most valuable wine import into the US, behind only France and Italy.
Green forecast next year’s export volumes would be “more muted” because of the smaller harvest of 396,000 tonnes, down 9 per cent on 2016, but wineries were confident quality would remain high.
While the US provided the best returns, more litres of wine (74 million) were exported to the United Kingdom for a much smaller return of $389m. Traditionally more bulk wine has been sent into the UK market. Behind the US and the UK came Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and China.
The most exported variety was sauvignon blanc, followed by pinot noir and chardonnay.
The recently passed Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act would offer improved protection of New Zealand’s regional identities. The industry had also launched the sustainable winegrowing New Zealand continuous improvement extension programme to enhance the reputation of wines.
Of a total growing area of 37,129 hectares, sauvignon dominates at 22,085 ha, an increase of 685 ha from the year before. The second most popular variety was pinot noir, with 5653 ha, followed by chardonnay at 3203 ha and pinot gris (2469 ha).
Marlborough is overwhelmingly the largest region with 25,135 ha planted in vines, followed by Hawke’s Bay (4694 ha), Central Otago (1896 ha) and Canterbury/Waipara (1425 ha).
The number of wineries was 677; they reached a peak of 703 in 2012.
New Zealanders drank 40 million litres of imported wine during the past year, most of it Australian (29m litres), with the next two most popular French and Chilean.
The November Kaikoura earthquake damaged an estimated 20 per cent of Marlborough’s tank capacity, but by harvest time all of the lost capacity had been restored or replaced.
Green said the industry consulted with members on possible changes to export tasting requirements, with responses suggesting a rethink of export requirements was needed.
“We continue to believe more needs to be done in our export legislation to ensure that the same standards apply to every bottle of New Zealand wine, no matter where it is bottled,” Green said.
NZ Winegrowers were concerned at the Ministry for Primary Industries’ plan to take part of New Zealand Winegrowers’ wine export certification service contract in-house.
“We fought hard to retain the status quo, which has served our members well, and are disappointed with the level of industry consultation in MPI’s decision making process. If the service changes, we will be seeking guarantees from the government that the current speedy issuance of export eligibility statements will be protected, at no additional cost to members,” Green said.
In June the New Zealand Grape Growers Council and the Wine Institute of New Zealand finished as entities, replaced by a unified New Zealand Winegrowers.
New Zealand is now the only major wine producing nation with a single industry body, representing and advocating for the interests of its entire grape and wine industry.
The industry and the Government are working through a Primary Growth Partnership on research into lighter wine production and marketing. Last year retail sales reached $33.5m. The programme runs through to 2021, by which time $16.97m would have been spent on the partnership.
Organic wine production continues to flourish with more than 60 New Zealand wineries now making fully certified organic wines, and more still in the organic conversion process.
Wednesday, 3 May 2017, 2:34 pm | Press Release: New Zealand Winegrowers
Wine exports to the USA surpass $500 million for the first time
The latest data from Statistics New Zealand show wine exports to the USA have surpassed $500 million for the first time, up 11% in the last year.
As the wine industry advances towards its goal of $2 billion of exports in 2020, there is significant potential for further growth in North America said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.
“New Zealand wine, especially Sauvignon Blanc, is very popular in the US and we expect consumer demand to continue to grow.”
“The new record level of wine exports into the world’s largest and most competitive market is an outstanding achievement for New Zealand wine exporters and testifies to the strong global demand for our wines.”
New Zealand wine exports reached a new record of $1.63 billion in March year end 2017. Wine is now New Zealand’s fifth largest export good by value.
The announcement of the new export records come at a busy time for the wine sector with the 2017 vintage nearing completion and the advent of International Sauvignon Blanc Day celebrations on Friday 5 May.
New Zealand wine region honoured with its own Riedel glass
New Zealand wine has captured the attention of Riedel Crystal, the 300-year-old world leader in varietal-specific glassware, resulting in the launch of a Central Otago Pinot Noir glass.
The reputation of Central Otago’s wines prompted 10th generation Georg J. Riedel to run a sensory workshop in the region in 2013 to discover the perfect glass for Central Otago Pinot Noir. Riedel Glass Owner, Georg J. Riedel, returned from Austria to launch the new glass at a media workshop tasting in Auckland today.
Unique from other Pinot Noir glasses in the Riedel portfolio, the Central Otago Pinot Noir glass accentuates the aroma and taste of the region’s typical pure fruit-focussed and intense mineral style said Rudi Bauer, spokesperson for the Central Otago Winegrowers Association.
“The unique attributes and consistent quality of Pinot Noir from Central Otago has captivated critics and consumers around the world, and we’re excited about taking yet another step forward.”
Central Otago Winegrowers Association has worked closely with Riedel for over two years, and have reason to celebrate the attention their region has generated from the world-leading glass company. “Riedel brought vision and endorsement to the creation of the perfect glass to enjoy Central Otago Pinot Noir. It is an important milestone in the development and reputation of our spectacular wine region”, said Mr Bauer.
Pinot Noir is New Zealand’s second most exported wine. There has been 30% growth in export sales of New Zealand Pinot Noir in the last five years, with 10.7 million litres exported in the 12 months to June year-end 2014. Pinot Noir is the most planted grape variety in Central Otago accounting for 77% of all plantings in the region.
Wine exports to China have the potential to rise in value from a current $25 million a year to $150m in just eight years.
New Zealand Winegrowers says the target is aspirational, but consistent with the rise in wine exports to Asia generally in the last few years. Wine exports have risen five-fold from $20m in 2005 to nearly $100m this year.
The growing importance of China to Kiwi winemakers is why New Zealand Winegrowers is opening its first Asian office next week, based in Hong Kong. Asian marketing manager Monty James said the move had been desirable for some time, but the clincher was a recent industry review by PWC, which highlighted the need to be present in growth markets.
“Coupled with that, China has gone from being a small player in New Zealand wine to the number one [in Asia] by some margin and continues to grow. It grew over 50 per cent in the last financial year.”
New Zealand Winegrowers already has offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Melbourne, and the Asian office is expected to service other markets in the region. But there’s little doubt China is its main focus, a market which till now has been forged by the efforts of individual winemakers or through big-label parent firms. Experts in the field have stressed the need for Kiwi wineries to take a less fragmented approach and James says the Hong Kong office is the beginning of that broader effort.
It is being assisted by a $1.5m contribution from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise next year towards building the Kiwi wine brand in China and mainland Europe. Hopes are even higher for Europe. The New Zealand Winegrowers-NZTE growth target for wine exports to Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands is $225m by 2020, well up from its present $45m.
James said the Government’s involvement in marketing New Zealand wine was critical, “because our competitors . . . are going into China with significantly more and government-driven money”.
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