The value of New Zealand wine exports rose to a record in the 2012-13 year even as volumes declined, the nation’s growers’ association said.
Export earnings increased 3 percent to NZ$1.2 billion ($1 billion) in the year ended June 30, while export volumes fell 5 percent to 169.6 million liters, New Zealand Winegrowers said in it annual report published today. “The small 2012 grape crop meant wine was in short supply and wineries took the opportunity to improve their positioning in the market,” Chairman Steve Green said in the report.
New Zealand is tapping new markets to grow wine exports. While shipments to mature markets such as Australia and the U.K. slipped in the past year, receipts from the U.S. jumped 13 percent and those from Germany surged 25 percent.
“Growth potential abounds in the U.S. and Canada,” Green said. “In Asia the opportunities are significant but markets are in early development phases. In mainland Europe the wine category is well established, but New Zealand wine is very much a newcomer.”
The sauvignon blanc grape variety accounts for almost 85 percent of New Zealand wine exports, with pinot noir making up about 6 percent.
A record 345,000 tons of grapes were harvested in 2013, up 28 percent on 2012 and 5 percent on 2011.