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New Zealand reports hike in UK sales

Published:  03 December, 2018

New Zealand Winegrowers has reported a hike in value and volume sales in the UK off-trade.

Value sales rose 6.6% in value to £483 million with volume up 6.3% to 5,597,000 cases in the past year, according to the latest Nielsen data (MAT to 6 October 2018), making the country the only one showing both value and volume growth, said the industry body.

The growth was driven by Sauvignon Blanc with the popular variety now accounting for 47% of all Sauvignon Blanc sold in the UK off-trade (Nielsen).

The increasing popularity of New Zealand Pinot Noir, which now represents 77% of the country’s red vineyard area, also boosted sales, said New Zealand Winegrowers, adding a bottle of New Zealand red wine now fetched £9.43 in the off-trade – over £3 more than any other country.

“The UK is a very strong market for New Zealand and its popularity is not waning as we are celebrating over 20 years of consecutive growth in sales,” said Chris Stroud, marketing manager, New Zealand Winegrowers Europe.

All varieties of New Zealand wine will be featured at the annual trade tasting in London on 16 January, where more than 400 wines will be showcased as New Zealand Winegrowers celebrate the 200-year anniversary since the first plantings in Northland, from which a selection of wines will be available to taste for the first time in the UK.

In addition, Ronan Sayburn MS will be scratching the surface of Marlborough in his seminar Digging Deeper while Rebecca Gibb MW exploring the many faces of Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago in separate masterclasses.

Other highlights include self pouring opportunities exploring Chardonnay and a Sommelier Sauvignon Selection – wines chosen by Sommeliers who have visited New Zealand on the Sommit, the New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier scholarship.

From 100 grapevines originally planted in 1819, there are now close to 40,000 hectares of vines covering New Zealand soils.

Growth has been rapid since the turn of this century: in the past 20 years, the total vineyard area has more than tripled.

In 1998 New Zealand exported 15 million litres of wine, worth NZ$100 million and in 2018 exports exceed 255 million litres, tipping $1.7 billion (New Zealand Winegrowers annual report 2018).