NZ needs to ‘broaden story’

22nd January, 2014 by Rupert Millar

New Zealand needs to focus on getting the message of its other grape varieties over to consumers thinks New Zealand Winegrowers CEO, Philip Gregan.

Grapes ripen in Central Otago

Grapes ripen in Central Otago

Both Gregan and Chris Stroud, UK head of New Zealand Winegrowers stressed the importance of focusing on Sauvignon Blanc from around New Zealand as well as the other grape varieties the country is producing.

Speaking to the drinks business at the New Zealand annual tasting, Gregan said that while Sauvignon Blanc had, “opened all the doors, the things that make Marlborough so distinctive can be seen elsewhere in New Zealand and also in our Pinots and Chardonnays etc.

“Marlborough is still the lead story but there’s a lot going on elsewhere. We need to broaden that story and tell the trade and consumers what’s going on.

“Chardonnay’s one of our unsung stories, great wines with big flavour. We’ve just got to get the message over.”

As Stroud pointed out, the main “theme” of this year’s tasting was, “highlighting our regional diversity”, as well as showing the developments going on within regions such as Marlborough with lees ageing and barrel fermentation.

The London tasting remains the most important for New Zealand in Europe outside of ProWein (the UK is still New Zealand’s third biggest market) but Gregan added that New Zealand Winegrowers would not be returning to the London Wine Fair this year.

Nonetheless, New Zealand will still have a “significant presence” in London this year, “just through importers not a generic stand”.

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