Kiwi Wine Exports Hit $2 Billion Record

The latest figures from New Zealand Winegrowers show the value of New Zealand wine exports have lifted to $2 billion for the first time, put down to a spike in drinking at home due to COVID.

Data for the 12 months to October 2020, showed the forecast made ten years ago that predicted wine exports to double and reach $2 billion by 2020 was on the money – despite sometimes challenging vintages, recessions, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The milestone reinforced New Zealand’s reputation for distinct, premium and sustainable wines noted NZ Winegrowers chairman, Clive Jones.

Jones said he was optimistic that the demand for Kiwi wine would continue to grow in the year ahead.

“Then it will become a question of whether our supply can meet that demand.”

Sauvignon blanc remains New Zealand’s flagship export but consumers are keen to sample other varieties, with pinot noir the second most exported variety, and rosé and pinot gris becoming increasingly popular.

“The rise in home wine consumption as a result of COVID-19 is supporting an increase in bulk wine exports, particularly to the UK and Europe,” said RaboResearch wine analyst Hayden Higgins.

The bulk buying trend has also benefited New Zealand in the US, its largest market for wine exports, where sales of Kiwi wines jumped 20 per cent by value and 8 per cent by volume during the first half of the year.