Sauvignon Blanc in regional twist

16 November, 2007

Regionality is to become more of a focus

in the marketing of

Sauvignon Blanc

for generic body New Zealand Winegrowers.

While other varietals such as Pinot Gris and Riesling are growing in popularity with UK consumers, Sauvignon Blanc still accounts for 70 per cent of UK exports of Kiwi wine and NZW is keen to keep it in the spotlight.

NZW UK director Warren Adamson

said: "Breaking down the regions and seeing how styles differ

is something we've been looking at doing for a while."

Eighty-eight of the 275 wines on show at the new release tasting at New Zealand House in London

were Sauvignon Blanc, with wines from regions such as Hawke's Bay, Martinborough and Nelson , as well as

Marlborough.

Adamson said

an educational campaign would target the trade before the concept is marketed at consumers, with Sauvignon Blanc regional tastings planned for NZW

trade tastings in London and Dublin next January.

"The trade is ready for regionality, but it's at a different stage from consumers so we will wait a bit before marketing it to them. We don't want to confuse them."

New Zealand wine increased market share in every price point last year (Nielsen June 2006 to June 2007). Varietal

wines which saw surges in popularity included Pinot Gris , growing by 140 per cent, and Merlot, which saw shipments to the UK rise 146 per cent. Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc also continued to grow with figures in October showing a rise of 37 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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