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New Zealand becomes world’s 6th largest wine exporter by value

Published:  05 July, 2023

Producers in New Zealand are celebrating the soaring value of total wine exports, rising by 25% to $2.4 billion in the 12 months to May 2023.

This is despite a smaller harvest in 2023, with yields falling by 6% during the year.

According to NZ Winegrowers, growing international demand has fuelled this value increase  New Zealand is now the world’s sixth largest wine exporter by value, despite producing only 1% of the world’s wine.

Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, commented: “Reaching another new record level of wine exports into some of the world’s largest and most competitive markets is an outstanding achievement for New Zealand wine exporters, and testifies to the increasingly strong global demand for our wines.”

He added: “New Zealand wine, particularly Sauvignon Blanc, is going from strength to strength in the USA, as consumers appreciate the distinctive flavours, commitment to quality, and know it is a unique product that they can trust.”

NZ Winegrowers described vintage 2023 as “excellent overall” in the South Island. However, unprecedented wet weather made the season particularly challenging for growers based in the North Island. 

Regions across the North Island were hit hard by the unprecedented wet weather throughout summer, but their incredible hard work and commitment to producing premium quality wines means that consumers will continue to enjoy the distinctive wines that they know and love,” said Gregan.

The success of the 2023 vintage further emphasises the resilience of the industry, as surging production costs continue to impact growers and wineries, and the scarcity of skilled workers remains a concern, along with operating in an uncertain economic environment.”

Gregan also noted that the return of international wine tourists to New Zealand would be a major boon for smaller outfits, including businesses which are more reliant on cellar door sales.

He said: “With over 500 small wineries in New Zealand, the majority of whom only sell domestically, having international visitors arriving at their front door again makes a big difference. Cellar doors are busy showcasing all that our unique wine regions have to offer, and alongside domestic holidaymakers, international tourists will be a welcome support for wine businesses.”