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Giesen makes mark in the U.S.

10 April 2013

Giesen makes mark in the U.S.

Giesen Wines’ growing momentum in the United States has been underlined by recent successes at wine competitions there. The Marlborough winery has just won six gold medals at U.S. wine competitions – three of them for the highly popular Giesen Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

Giesen Estate Marlborough Riesling 2012, Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 and Giesen The August 1888 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 also won gold.

The wines received the coveted recognition at the Dallas Morning News & Texsom Competition, the San Diego International Wine Competition, and the Fingerlakes International Wine Competition respectively.

Giesen Wines has been exporting to the U.S. since 1997.

Gold recognition highlighted the opportunity for Giesen Wines in this exciting market, said director Alex Giesen.

“These wins bode well for our future growth in the U.S. market and signal how well our wines can foot it in a fiercely competitive international market.”

Alex Giesen believed there was potential for further growth in the U.S. with Kiwi wines competing strongly on quality and price against some of the locally produced wines.

“Currently Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are the two ‘known’ varietals from New Zealand. But we're changing views on that with the introduction of Riesling, Pinot Gris and other varietals into the market. Trial and exposure are the best way to grow the knowledge base.”

A report on Bloomberg describes the wine market the U.S. as a significant wine market. It says that in 2010, the States overtook France as the largest consumer of wine in the world, consuming 329.7 million cases. New Zealand wines are highly regarded. In 2012, sales of New Zealand wine represented 1% of total wine sold in the U.S. market, which is just under than 4.5 million cases. (

The report says total New Zealand wine sales in the U.S. increased 22.5% last year; the fourth consecutive year of double-digit percentage growth for Kiwi wines in the States. The U.S. and Canada were particularly big markets. New Zealand wine remained the fastest growing wine category in British Columbia at 14.9% for 2012. New Zealand white wine sales grew 19.1% in Ontario last year and are still increasing.

Winemaker Andrew Blake said the 2012 Giesen Estate Sauvignon Blanc blend came from a variety of separate Giesen and contract grown vineyards, which are spread over the length and breadth of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley.

“This broad range of vineyards ensures a multi-dimensional aroma and flavour spectrum, from punchy, pungent and tropical through to elegant, crisp and green. We believe this is a true representation of Marlborough sauvignon blanc.”

The Giesen Estate Riesling 2012 recently won "Best Aromatic of Competition” at the Sydney International Wine Show 2013. Among its other credits, the Riesling 2012 has also been named Champion Riesling at the Spiegelau International Wine competition, won gold at the New Zealand Wine Show, was rated five stars by Cuisine and also listed in the magazine’s top 10 Rieslings.

The win for Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 underpins the potential for premium Marlborough Pinot Noir, Giesen said.

“The Giesen brothers have sought small parcels of vines around the Wairau Valley that deliver outstanding quality wines. Fruit for this wine was handpicked from five vineyards in the southern valleys and hills of the Wairau Valley with one parcel from Spring Creek. “

Giesen The August traditionally fermented Sauvignon Blanc 2011 is another relatively recent entrant to the U.S. market. In contrast to the Estate Sauvignon Blanc, which is a classic style, The August pushes the boundaries for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to showcase a more complex style.

Winemaker Andrew Blake: “The August has plenty of character and ageing potential and demonstrates what can be achieved with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Concentrated aroma and complexity is derived from a combination of low yielding vines, barrel fermentation started with wild yeast and extended maturation on lees.”


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