New Zealand wine export is having a great impact on the world wine industry. On the face of it, for the tiny country on the Pacific Rim, it was impossible to rival the famed glorious wine-producing giants of the Old and New World. Nevertheless, the island-state successfully challenged the most famed wines at international competition, and got their product onto the overstocked international market. As world demand continues to grow for premium New Zealand wines, the vineyards in the country are expanding, and new wineries are being built rapidly.
The statistics is an abundant evidence of the fact: since 1995 a new winery opens in New Zealand on average every 2 weeks.
Lately New Zealand wine export, started in the 1970s by Cooks and Montana, has visibly grown: from 7.9 million liters in 1990 up to 31.1 million in 2004. The main New Zealand wine export destinations are Great Britain, Australia, the United States, and Canada. In 2005 New Zealand export sales amounted to 53 percent. Other industry achievements in 2005 are total sales reached new heights at 96 million litres and New Zealand's 500th winery registered in May.
Correct valuation of New Zealand natural resources was the determinant of success. Ecological perfection, unique multifarious climate, and splendid complex soils make New Zealand a fulfilled dream of every winemaker.
Today New Zealand produces more than 5 thousand different wines. The principal New Zealand white wine varieties are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muller Thurgau and Riesling. The main reds are Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. No other New Zealand wine has achieved the international acclaim that has been given to the Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is spoken of as one of the biggest success stories of the XX century.
During years of time, France, to put it more precisely, the Loire valley was reputed as the best producer of Sauvignons, even when the producers of New World flooded the market. But Sauvignons from New Zealand turned to surpass Loire's in many characteristics. European wine critics consider New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc made in Marlborough region to be the world's best. In addition, the technical equipment, actively used on New Zealand's expansive valleys, makes the price of Marlborough's Sauvignon Blancs quite moderate. No wonder that exactly Sauvignon Blanc became the key style of New Zealand wine export along with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot
Only four of New Zealand wineries sell more than 2 million litres of wine each year - Allied Domecq Wines (NZ) Ltd, Delegat's Wine Estate Ltd, Nobilo Wine Group Ltd, Villa Maria Estate Ltd. The majority sell less than 200,000 litres of wine per year. Twelve New Zealand's leading wine brands are united in a new cross-regional export-focused marketing alliance, called Family of Twelve. The wineries involved encompass wine regions through New Zealand and make wine from every major varietal.