One in 10 people in Marlborough work in wine – new report
Where would we be without wine?
The wine sector pumps nearly half a billion dollars into the Marlborough economy a year.
The industry has grown by 300 per cent since 2000. It employs one in 10 people.
And it's only going to get bigger, says a new report by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER).
* Marlborough posts largest five-year GDP improvement in New Zealand
* Marlborough economy hits $2.5 billion high, driven by wine industry
* The Bottling Company open their doors to reveal the final step in the winemaking process
* New contract wine bottling company The Bottling Company opens in Marlborough
"It's hard to imagine what the Marlborough regional economy would look like without the wine sector," said the institute's deputy chief executive John Ballingall. "It makes up almost 20 per cent of the economy just by itself.
"The share dominance of one sector in a relatively large regional economy is very rare to see. Marlborough wine has been a success story for a very long time."
The report was prepared for Wine Marlborough and released earlier this week.
Ballingall said the numbers potentially underestimated the sector's impact on local spending and employment, as the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme was not included.
Marlborough employed about 2350 wine workers, while the work scheme brought in an extra 3000 casual workers. The industry also supported about 2500 jobs in other sectors, such as packaging and road freight.
Wine Marlborough general manager Marcus Pickens said wine was definitely one of Marlborough's strengths.
"Everyone who lives here knows it," he said. "Whatever way you slice and dice it, $477 million is a massive number.
"That can only be a positive for a small, rural-urban population in New Zealand."
New company The Bottling Company opened in May last year to address the demand for bottling, and business was booming.
Director Matt Elrick said there was still room for the company to grow, reflected by the growing industry.
"We certainly recognised a need for more bottling capacity in Marlborough. Other contract facilities are addressing that as well by expanding their facilities."
The Bottle Company stored their bottled wine with TNL Freight at their Blenheim site.
TNL Distribution area manager Tony Newman, the father of Bottling Company's other director Stefan Newman, said the freight and distribution company expanded its services to accommodate the growth of wine in Marlborough.
"When I started [40 years ago] it was all sheep and cattle, there were no grapes," he said.
"We've seen growth every year, it's growing and growing and growing.
"[For us] it's all good now. It's all smooth sailing with room to expand."
Pickens said it was "undeniable" the wine industry was the biggest employer in the region.