New Zealand has long had a strong affinity for Sauvignon Blanc, with the country having built up a strong reputation internationally as one of the leading producers of the variety and this has led to it being the dominant variety of still wine sold domestically. However, in recent years the standout performer has been still rosé wine, which has garnered a reputation as ‘summer in a glass’ – the perfect accompaniment to balmy summer BBQs and long lunches – and a crowd-pleasing wine that delivers all year round.
While the reputation of New Zealand wine’s internationally saw the value of wine exports grow for the 25th consecutive year, local brands have had to innovate in the face of growing competition from competing alcoholic drinks categories. New Zealand has historically been at the forefront of packaging innovation, having been one of the initial purveyors of screw top wine in the 1990s.
COVID-19 has caused significant disruption to both international and domestic supply chains, and this has hampered the flow of Champagne into New Zealand. Woolworths and Foodstuffs both reported a supply shortage due to shipping delays and port congestion at the end of 2020, with restricted availability impacting both on-trade and off-trade sales.
The New Zealand wine industry had its smallest crop in five years in 2021 with local players such as Villa Maria reporting a 25% reduction in harvest yield. It's a common theme across the country thanks to a cool spring and later frosts that have led to a drop of 19% in the volume of grapes harvested nationwide.
Alcohol free alternatives is one of the most prominent trends shaping alcoholic drinks and this will continue over the forecast period. Driving this is increased awareness of health and wellness, with consumers looking to reduce their alcohol intake.
While the rest of the world began to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic through the gradual re-opening of international borders and resumption of international travel and tourism, New Zealand has been late to make changes. The full re-opening of New Zealand’s borders on 31st July 2022 will support the recovery of wine consumption in the on-trade as tourists return to the country.
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This is the aggregation of still and sparkling light grape wines, fortified wine and vermouth and non-grape wine. In terms of alcohol content, light wine usually falls into the 8-14% ABV bracket while fortified wine ranges from 14-23% ABV. Low and non-alcoholic wine is also included in the data (attributed to each sector as appropriate).See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Wine research and analysis database.
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