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Marlborough ready for global wine market opportunities

Press Release 20 June 2011

Marlborough ready for global wine market opportunities

Market success follows successful winery sales strategies

Wine Marlborough, the regional wine association for the Marlborough region sees positive opportunities in light of the recent vintage 2011 announcement by national body New Zealand Winegrowers. Marlborough is New Zealand’s driving force of wine production with vintage 2011 seeing Marlborough account for 75 percent of New Zealand’s wine production. Marlborough also delivers an estimated 80 percent of New Zealand wine exports.

The 2011 Marlborough vintage saw a combination of favourable growing conditions and a necessary topping up of available wine after continued strong market performance had depleted lingering oversupply from the unexpectedly large 2008 vintage and similarly large 2009 vintage. Following this 2010 was a significantly smaller vintage. These factors along with average New Zealand wine export growth of approximately 17 percent in the past three years has seen permanent demand growth in our key and emerging markets.

Wineries and grape growers acknowledge that they are carefully market led now more so than ever before and that there is no room for error in their planning decisions on what to harvest and take to market.

Geoff Matthews, Wine Operations Director at Lion Nation New Zealand comments “Wither Hills and Lion realised a few years ago that we had to get better at managing our intake. By using a market led model with a focus on demand planning we only take in what we know we can sell. This along with continuing to produce quality fruit for strong brands with excellent distribution is the key to moving forward in today's economy. Like many Marlborough based companies our sales volumes are showing strong growth in all markets and its very encouraging to see”.

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Wineries throughout the region are also reporting satisfaction at what they have managed to capture in the finished 2011 wines and encourage the market to look out for another strong vintage with Marlborough’s cool climate signature flavours.

Matt Thomson, consultant winemaker at Saint Clair adds; “At this early stage the standout variety seems to be Sauvignon Blanc, which is probably due to the healthy vines from the strong summer growth of 2011 combined with the cool autumn. The wines are aromatic, full-bodied, and have good acid balance.” A number of wineries also report that they have been forced to consider bringing release dates for their wines forward to meet demand after continued strong sales has reduced inventory.


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