“It will probably never be as big as Sauvignon Blanc, but there’s lots of innovative styles in New Zealand rosé, and now is the time to grow its presence and get it on shelves”, says  Chris Stroud, European market manager for trade organisation New Zealand Winegrowers. 

While the ever popular Sauvignon Blanc represents 85% of New Zealand Winegrowers’ international exports, a less familiar face is stepping into the spotlight. According to NielsenIQ, New Zealand rosé has seen a 7.2% value increase in the UK (52 weeks to April 9), with a total value growth of 81% in the past two years. In comparison, the global rosé category has experienced 12% total value growth in the same period of time.

When it comes to styles, Stroud notes dry and sophisticated wines as the top dogs: “The growth in New Zealand rosé is driven by the dry and crisp styles. So premium, dry wines are really leading the category. I think New Zealand can really capitalise on these styles.” 

Averaging at £7.50 per bottle, New Zealand rosé caters to those consumers looking for a premium take on the wine, which Stroud partially attributes to the category’s increasing popularity. 

“New Zealand rosé averages considerably higher than your standard rosé on UK supermarket shelves; it’s always above the category average. New Zealand is always seen as a premium category, and consumers expect high quality when they pick up these wines.”

For retailers looking to make the most of New Zealand rosé’s time in the limelight, Stroud recommends keeping the shelves stocked all year round with a wide variety of wines: “Rosé isn’t just a seasonal wine anymore. I don’t think it’s necessarily a summer wine, and retailers should be taking note of all the styles available to see where there are gaps in their stock.”

“As long as it’s dry and premium, I think that’s where the sales will come”, he adds. 

As retailers move to educate consumers on New Zealand rosé, Sauvignon Blanc blush has proven to be a hit. Stroud says: “People love New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, so we’ve seen a rise in Sauvignon Blanc rosé as it has those flavours that consumers know and enjoy.”