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Tuesday 29 July 2014

NZ producer expands into Marlborough

2nd August, 2013 by Gabriel Savage

New Zealand producer Cable Bay Vineyards has added 28 hectares to its portfolio with the purchase of two sites in the lower Awatere Valley region of Marlborough.

Cable Bay's new Awatere Vineyard

One of Cable Bay’s new Awatere vineyards

Planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, the new sites are expected to expand Cable Bay’s range of single vineyard wines in one of New Zealand’s most successful export regions.

According to New Zealand Winegrowers, Marlborough accounts for 80% of the country’s Sauvignon Blanc production, which in turn holds a 49% volume share of the UK Sauvignon Blanc market. Nielsen data from the start of 2013 indicates Sauvignon Blanc as the “most popular” grape variety in the UK off-trade.

The new wines will join the rest of Cable Bay’s single vineyard range, which currently comes from its base in Waiheke Island, as well as grapes sourced from Central Otago.

This acquisition comes just a few months after Cable Bay’s winemaker and co-owner Neill Culley told the drink business of his plan to expand the company’s vineyard holdings into both Marlborough and Central Otago in order to strengthen its export focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

At the time, Cable Bay had just joined UK importer Connoisseur Estates after its former partner Stratfords Wine Agencies went into administration.

Confirming “great success” with the wines since the first shipment in May, Andrew Steel, co-founder of Connoisseur Estates, described this prospect of future range expansion as “fantastic news”.

For more insight into how New Zealand is working to capitalise on the success of its Sauvignon Blanc, click here.

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