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New Zealand wine exports up, as premium grows in the UK

Published:  10 March, 2015

New Zealand's wine industry has seen exports grow 8.2% in the last year, hitting a record NZ$1.37 billion.

The boost has made the country the sixth biggest wine exporter in the world, according to trade body New Zealand Winegrowers. Its top export markets include Australia, the USA and the UK.

Sales in the UK have been strong, according to the latest Nielsen data. Growth was driven by premium wines, and the average price of a bottle grew to £7.37. The £7 - £8 price bracket performed particularly well, he New Zealand Winegrowers said, seeing  saw volume growth of 10%, with value also up 13% (Nielsen Scantrack - data to w/e 3 January 2015).

The country is now the number one country with a 20% share of volume and growth of 52% in this bracket.

Chris Stroud, marketing manager Europe, New Zealand Winegrowers said the results were encouraging. "It is good to see that New Zealand is growing at such a healthy rate and adding value and volume to the overall market which is otherwise in decline. For a small nation producing less than 1% of the world's wine we are very proud of our achievements, especially in such a competitive market as the UK."

The 2015 vintage is expected to be significantly smaller than last year, New Zealand Winegrowers confirmed, but added it was likely to be of good quality.

"The warm dry summer of 2015 has been absolutely perfect for growing and ripening grapes. As we move into autumn the prospect is for an outstanding, albeit smaller, vintage in all our grape-growing regions," Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers said.

He added that sales are likely to be supported by retained stocks from vintage 2014. The last two years have seen bumper harvests across New Zealand, up significantly from low yields in 2012.