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Kiwi Winery Group Moves Fast into United States

Media Release – 7 July 2011

Kiwi Winery Group Moves Fast into United States

Pacific Prime Wines celebrates first US orders and shipment on the 4th of July
Pacific Prime Wines, established and owned by five New Zealand wineries to run their importing and marketing operation in the United States, is celebrating its first orders and the appointment of seven state distributors. Fittingly, the venture’s first container of wine shipped on Independence Day, the 4th of July.

From a standing start in February 2011 Pacific Prime Wines has set up new US distribution for the five shareholder wineries: Lake Chalice Wines, Forrest Estate, Carrick Wines, Seifried Estate and Maimai Vineyards. In addition the company is working directly with large-scale fine wine retailers in California and has employed its first Vice President of Sales, based near Washington DC.

PPW Director Dave Nicholas says: “Such a rapid expansion in distribution is a real credit to our wineries and their brands, as well as the efforts of our sales team. We’re making a direct connection between the wineries and our customers, and the market is loving it.”

The new distribution partnerships are commencing in Virginia, Maryland, DC, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington and Indiana, with New York, Connecticut and Illinois set to follow.

Pacific Prime Wines is also delighted that Maimai Vineyards has joined the group, providing a superb range of wines from the Hawkes Bay and completing the New Zealand-wide portfolio. Owner Mal McLennan and his family grow grapes in two outstanding locations: at coastal Awatoto and inland on the Red Metals Triangle. These vineyards and wines express the best of the region – cool climate white wines and complex, elegant reds.

Pacific Prime Wines is the wine sector’s sole in-market commercial collaboration, where independent wineries operate their own importing, marketing and sales business in the United States. It expects to grow sales to over 80,000 cases in the next five years.


The United States market:
New Zealand has been exporting wine to the United States since the late 1970s, with sales worth over $237million in 2010. New Zealand premium wine is the top performing import category in the US at a growth rate of 21%, compared to the total market at 8%. Since 2000 wine exports to the USA have increased by a factor of nine, from just $26million to almost $240million in 2010. 87% of exports are Sauvignon Blanc, 7% Pinot Noir and 3% Chardonnay.

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