Marlborough trade leader slams UK discounts

14 July, 2009

Marlborough’s reputation is being damaged by discounting in the UK, a New Zealand wine trade leader has warned.

Blair Gibbs, head of Wine Marlborough, is alarmed by the appearance of bottles of the region’s Sauvignon Blanc on British shelves in three-for-£10 deals.

“The level of bulk exports to the UK is staggering and we are seeing our market position which has taken 30 years to build being eroded in one year,” he told a New Zealand news organisation, adding that “Brand Marlborough is heading in the wrong direction”.

Gibbs admitted that the problem was also present in the domestic market, following the record 2008 vintage.

He said that producers were reducing crop sizes from the 2009 vintage and should also show restraint in selling their wines on discount.

New Zealand currently achieves the highest price per bottle of any producing country supplying the UK, at £6.44 compared to the market average of £4.26.

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