What does 2022 hold for New World wines?

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From shortages and harvest hopes to low alcohol, FTAs and new grape varieties, these are the New World wine trends for 2022 What does 2022 hold for New World wines?

NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA

 In the US, one of the biggest issues going into next year will be the ongoing supply of White Zinfandel, believes Kevin Wilson, buying controller at Kingsland Drinks. “It remains a popular style of wine here, however with growers in California starting to replace Zinfandel vines with other varieties or other crops, the supply of White Zinfandel is starting to tighten up,” he says. “This means pricing is rising in the market, as the UK is the number one for White Zinfandel.”

Californian producers are also mindful of low-calorie and low-alcohol trends. Maggie Curry, VP of marketing at Sonoma’s Kendall Jackson (pictured), says quality and taste expectations are the priority for these trends, revealing launch plans. “Working with our vineyard farming team early will be key to facilitate strategic picks, as well as blending as we move to nationally launch our Kendall-Jackson low-calorie Chardonnay in spring 2022,” she says.

In South America, Kingsland’s Wilson says tight supply of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir means a more adventurous 2022. “Look out for Criolla, a red grape from Argentina,” he says.

Argentina’s Sebastián Zuccardi believes there will be a “development of new wine regions and a deepening of the production of wines with a sense of place”. He adds: “We will also see great white wines from Argentina.”

And in Chile, Wilson touts the Itata region, with the Pais and Moscatel varieties in the spotlight. “But the big hit for 2022 will be Sauvignon Blanc from the Leyda Valley,” he adds.

SOUTH AFRICA

In South Africa, talk is of harvest hopes. Graham Beck cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira says that, for two years in a row, the Western Cape has enjoyed top winter conditions. “We have had many more days of snow-capped mountains in the Robertson region. These cold temperatures ensure that our Graham Beck vineyards have built up good reserves due to higher-than[1]average rainfall, and that they are well rested and re-energised.” He says the long-term forecast is for “great weather patterns to the run-up of harvest”.

When it comes to grape varieties, Kleine Zalze cellarmaster RJ Botha hopes to capitalise on the growing demand for Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc across price segments, as well as high-end Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon.

At Kingsland, Wilson also pinpoints the recovery of the tourist market.

“This is so important for the wineries in the wine regions as many of them support families and communities locally – and South African wine needs to bounce back,” he says.

AUSTRALIA

Wilson highlights emerging wines in Australia. “We’ve worked with our partner producer, Andrew Peace Wines, to launch a Zweigelt and a Chenin Blanc – two varieties that are not historically associated with Australia but will definitely bring excitement to the fixture,” he says. Elsewhere, the free trade agreement with Australia is expected to reduce costs for importers and bring greater choice to UK consumers.

At Treasury Wine Estates, Ben Blake, marketing director EMEA, says consumers are continuing to opt for more premium choices. “Once seen in the UK as a producer of great value wines but not necessarily premium ones, this market is now the top destination for high[1]end Australian wines, according to a report from Wine Australia,” he says.

“This makes premium Australian wines ones to watch next year.” Blake cites TWE’s Wolf Blass and 19 Crimes brands. “Brands are a key driver in purchasing choices in wine, with 60% of wine buyers stating that it’s an important choice cue.”

Looks like 2022 will be a whole new world for New World producers.

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