By Jo Gilbert
Published: November 26, 2020
International demand for New Zealand wines has surged over the past decade, with the total export value now hitting a record NZ $ 2 billion in 2020.
Exports have doubled over the past decade, from a total export value of NZ $ 1.04 billion in 2010 to NZ $ 2 billion in the 12 months to October 2020.
The numbers are coming New Zealand Wine Developers. The association notes that the country’s winemakers have witnessed challenging vintages, a recession and now a global pandemic during that time.
However, export performance has been consistently strong, even in 2020, when the country saw a 19% increase in the first four months of the new export year (July to October) compared to 2019.
“This achievement reflects the world’s appreciation of New Zealand wines, and strengthens our international reputation for distinctive, premium and sustainable wines,” said Clive Jones, chairman of Winegrowers New Zealand.
“We are optimistic that demand for New Zealand wines will continue to increase in the coming years, and then the question is whether our supply can meet that demand. While Sauvignon Blanc remains our flagship export, consumers continue to explore the wide variety of grapes we produce, with Pinot Noir remaining our most exported variety, and Rosé and Pinot Gris becoming increasingly popular, ”said Jones.
New ZealandThe upward trajectory appears to have been supported by consistently strong sales in key markets such as the UK, US, Canada and China, where the country remains the highest or second highest priced wine category.
This year, like other countries in the world, wineries have to deal with the global coronavirus pandemic.
The impact of Covid-19 on industry is mixed, said Winegrowers New Zealand, as different parts of the industry face different opportunities and challenges. These include increased production costs and potential labor shortages.
“Exports to our main international markets have increased beyond expectations this year, but on the other hand, the wine business which sells primarily through local tourism and wine has experienced significant challenges. What is exciting in the domestic market is that we see people continue to buy and support local products. “
“After the industry survives the 2020 harvest during the Level 4 lockdown, we are planning a worst case scenario. However, what we see is that even though the world has changed in 2020, what hasn’t changed is people’s love of New Zealand wine, ”Jones concluded.