Top 10 markets for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

To mark International Sauvignon Blanc Day (5 May) we take a closer look at one of the grape’s most prolific producers – New Zealand – and the markets that are moving this versatile variety.

The total value of all New Zealand wine exports increased 10% to NZ$1.57 billion in 2016.

The total value of all New Zealand wine exports increased 10% to NZ$1.57 billion in 2016, with volumes also rising. Packaged wine exports increased 5% to 1421.2m litres, while bulk wine exports increased 1% to 71.4m.

Of that, Sauvignon Blanc made up 85.6% of exports, making it by far New Zealand’s most important grape variety, with volume exports of the grape growing in all of its top 10 markets, half of those by double digits.

“In all markets overall growth is 16% with total Sauvignon Blanc exports now 210m litres [MAT March 2017),” said Chris Yorke, global marketing director for New Zealand Winegrowers.

“Sauvignon Blanc continues to be the prime motor of growth in our biggest market the USA and is enjoying double digit growth in all our top 4 markets- U.K., USA, Canada, Australia. In China, a traditionally red wine market , Sauvignon Blanc is now our number one exported varietal – growing at 35%. Japan and Netherlands also recording strong growth (23% and 16% respectively)”.

US GROWTH

Last month, it was revealed that exports of New Zealand wines to the US had overtaken those of Australia in terms of value for the first time.

According to Rabobank’s 2017 Q2 Wine Quarterly Report, the value of New Zealand imports into the US totalled US$400million (almost NZ$500m) in 2016, having climbed 11% by value ($49m) in the last year.

In comparison, the value of Australian wine imports into the US have been on a steady decline since 2012, dropping to around $350m in 2016, placing the value of NZ imports into the US ahead of Australia for the first time.

Taking Moving Annual Totals (MAT) provided by New Zealand Winegrowers to March 12, here we round up the grape’s 10 biggest markets by volume. While they didn’t make the top 10, notable mentions go to China and Japan, which are in fact two of New Zealand’s fastest-growing markets for Sauvignon Blanc, at 12th and 13th respectively. Volumes of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to China increased by 35% to 775,458 million litres in the past 12 months to March 2017, while Japan’s volumes grew 23% to 758,853 litres.

International Sauvignon Blanc Day is marked each year on 5 May, with New Zealand Winegrowers leading the celebrations of its biggest grape.

“New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a NZ$1.3 billion export earner, massively contributing to the success of New Zealand wine overseas,” added Yorke. “If you’re a Sauvignon Blanc fanatic, then we encourage you to join the online conversation and post video clips, photographs and messages that salute New Zealand’s most well-known wine. We think New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a success story worth celebrating, so on May 5 raise a glass to the wine that put New Zealand on the map.”

So, which markets are driving the continuing success of New Zealand’s most-prized variety? Click through for a run down of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc’s biggest markets…

(Data source: MAT volume totals to March 2017 – NZ Winegrowers)

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