Where Has All The New Zealand Wine Gone?

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Mar 1st, 2011 | By | Category: Blog

Where Has All The New Zealand Wine Gone?

On a recent trip to the UK I had the luxury of visiting many wine tastings and stores. The most dramatic observation, in the supermarkets and fine wine stores, was the lack of New Zealand wine.

Famed for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, New Zealand has forged ahead in other wine varieties. The high bottle price for New Zealand wine has seen it labelled as premium wine. New Zealand only contributes 0.5% to global wine production but 50% of all Sauvignon Blanc consumed in the UK is of New Zealand origin, and Oyster Bay is Australia’s biggest selling white wine.

I trawled through Supermarket after supermarket only to find a very select group of NZ wine being sold. The most notable labels were Villa Maria and Brancott Estate (formerly Montana). As you can see from the Photos below, and this was the whole white wine range, there are very few wines for sale compared to American, French, and Australian wines. Even Chilean and Argentinian wines outnumbered that of New Zealand.

Has the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit New Zealand wine exports so hard that they have all stopped stocking the premium brands?

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Written by Jayson Bryant

Jayson’s roots in wine began when his father literally dragged him round France and injected his passion into him. From the age of 8 his family took month long holidays in France travelling through all regions and sampling their wine.
UnScrewed has reinvented the concept of wine tasting in New Zealand and along the way found a new and willing audience. In addition to encouraging straightforward wine tasting, Jayson educates viewers about the effects of regional factors (soil, sun, wind) on wine flavours, and how to buy wine.

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  • http://twitter.com/tuckandvine Louis Fernando

    NZ wine commands a relatively high selling price per bottle in the UK, it is for this reason that you won’t find extensive selections in the local Sainsburys, Tesco’s or M&S. Exposure in supermarkets can be argued either way, but I believe that in the case of NZ wine it is good to see it appearing in all the right places (top restaurants, boutique wine merchants etc) and not discounted to 2 for a fiver in every supermarket across the UK.

  • Ron McFarland


    Similar here in USA too.

    Exception is small independent wine shops will have some of the wines you would enjoy. Not sure if it is the changing economy or just simply that consumers do not understand the total New Zealand picture and what your pictures show are the wines that are easy to sell and appeal to a wide audience based on price.

    I do believe the evolving niche wine marketing groups will help those brands that get involved and separate themselves from the wines pictured above. They will find their customers.

    Interesting read in current Sommelier Journal about successfully mixing plonk and fine wine and each segement of the market being very successful. This is something that will happen in the coming chapter of New Zealand wine. Here is a link – it does require a subscription — http://www.sommelierjournal.com/articles/article.aspx?year=2011&month=01&articlenum=36

    Best wishes