NZ wine favoured by British

JOHN ANTHONY
Last updated 17:26 25/07/2014

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New Zealand can claim another victory over Australians with research showing British wine drinkers prefer our vino to theirs.

Nielsen figures show New Zealand has overtaken Australia to become the No 2 country of origin in Britain for wine sold for more than £7 ($13.85).

New Zealand wine accounts for 18 per cent of all wines sold in the premium price segment in Britain, second only to France which has a 28 per cent market share.

Australia has 16.7 per cent market share.

Villa Maria founder and owner Sir George Fistonich said it was only a matter of time before New Zealand took the top spot in Britain for wine sold for more than £7.

"We have potential to grow there and become the No 1," Fistonich said.

"It might take us another 10 years."

Villa Maria started exporting to Britain in 1988 and was in the top three New Zealand wines sold there, Fistonich said.
He would not say how much wine the company exported.

Villa Maria wines retailed for about £11, but the high New Zealand dollar made exporting to Britain marginal, he said.

"Margins are very, very tight and you have to be very disciplined but fortunately we have a good reputation there."

The vast majority of wine in Britain sold for less than £7, he said.

"We're operating in a very small segment of the market, but for our youth we've got a huge share of that."

New Zealand Winegrowers global marketing director Chris Yorke said New Zealand was selling almost one in every five bottles in Britain priced above £7.

Last year France's market share grew at 11 per cent while New Zealand's grew at 31 per cent, he said.

"So we're certainly catching them."

The range of wine available in Britain made it one of the most sophisticated wine markets in the world, he said.

"It shows that consumers know they are getting excellent quality with a New Zealand wine and it is worth spending that little bit extra," Yorke said.

New Zealand produced less than 1 per cent of the world's wine, he said.

New Zealand wine exports reached a record high this year of $1.33 billion and are our seventh-biggest goods export, he said.

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