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NZ could be top wine country outside Europe

Media Release – October 29

NZ could be top wine country outside Europe

New Zealand could be the top wine producing country outside Europe in 20 years time, a new book reveals.

Wine in New Zealand, just released, shows some critics favour New Zealand to be one of the leading wine producing countries in the world in 20 years.

Washington Post wine critic Michael Franz is quoted as saying Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States head the list of serious contenders as the top country outside Europe making the best wine.

``Anyone of them could conceivably end up on top. However, my wager is riding on New Zealand,’’ Franz says.

Today, just one in 500 bottles of wine produced in the world comes from New Zealand.

``Ours is a pint-sized industry, yet it is held in the highest esteem by wine aficionados everywhere,’’ the book says.

``So sought after are our quality wines we can’t supply enough of them to the international market, even though the world at large is in the midst of a wine glut.’’

New Zealand is in the right place, poised at the right time, to compete with the world’s oldest, most revered wine producers, the book says.

Marlborough is listed as New Zealand’s wine capital – the beehive that produces half the country’s wines and home to most of the highly acclaimed labels in the land.

``Sauvignon blanc’s hegemony continues to grow stronger by the day. Come 2005 it will comprise almost 60 percent of the region’s plantings.’’

* Wine in New Zealand is written by Caroline Courtenay published by Random House and Montana Wines.

Ends

For further information: contact kip Brook at Word of Mouth Media NZ 03 3745426

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