International demand for New Zealand wine at an all-time high

A new report says international demand for New Zealand wine is at an all-time high, with total annual export value reaching a record $1.83 billion.

The New Zealand Winegrowers 2019 Annual Report, said export value had risen by 6 percent in the year ended June 2019,  which at a retail level translated to over $7 billion dollars of New Zealand wine sold around the world annually. 

The UK and USA led the growth, with the USA continuing to be New Zealand wine's largest market with over $550 million in exports.

Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers, John Clarke said the premium reputation of New Zealand wine had translated to real value in its major markets where it remained either the highest or second highest priced wine category in the USA, UK, Canada, and China.

"This year's export results again reflect the New Zealand wine industry's strengths, and reinforce our international reputation for premium, diverse and sustainable wines," he said.

The report also highlighted the completion of the 2018 PwC Strategic Review, the first within the industry since 2011, which provided useful insights into the state of the New Zealand wine sector, challenges and opportunities. 

Blenheim has been announced as the location for a new national research winery.
Blenheim has been announced as the location for a new national research winery. Photo credit: Supplied

"The Strategic Review report noted the continued steady growth of the industry, and identified a range of challenges and risks that need to be addressed to maintain that trajectory and ensure all members have the opportunity to benefit," said Clarke.

Clarke noted the Strategic Review underscored how important all aspects of sustainability were in order to maintain the New Zealand wine industry's social license to operate.

"As an industry we need to ensure our key focus is on enhancing sustainability initiatives." "Sustainability is a cornerstone of the reputation of New Zealand wine, and is vital to the ongoing success of our industry."

He said highlights over the last year included the completion of the first phase of the Bragato Research Institute's climate change programme, the commencement of a new research winery facility, and the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, which saw over 100 international wine producers, experts and key influencers visit Marlborough to experience New Zealand's diverse Sauvignon Blanc offerings.