Source quoted below…
What is Driving the Continuing Growth of New Zealand Wines in the U.S.?
This situation reminds me of the popularity of Australian red wines in the U.S. for the last decade. Unfortunately (for them), tastes evolved and the intensely fruity, sweet, simple style of wine produced for export has lost much of its steam, as U.S. red wine drinkers palates have matured. I have a suspicion the same future may be in the cards for New Zealand. Many consumers I talk to, enjoy the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, because of the tropical fruit flavors these terroirs seems to bring to the wine grapes. Contrast that with the lemon and grapefruit flavors that are predominant with the Napa-Sonoma producers. The majority of the California Sauv Blancs I have tasted are obvious food wines… pairing well with lighter food styles – seafood, chicken, white cream sauces. These New Zealand wines are better for spicy foods and drinking on their own. Can this style continue to grow market share and/or expand the market for white wine in the U.S.?
New Zealand Wine Sales Grow in the Premium Category…
In this case, the source is defining the “premium brands” category in the $15-30/btl range. Why are people willing to pay more for these brands: Kim Crawford, Oyster Bay, etc? Tropical fruit flavors in Sauv Blanc are difficult to find in wines from other areas consistently. Could this consistent flavor profile cause wine drinkers to feel they know the product as a regional brand? Perhaps in the same way we have come to know the general character of “Left Bank Bordeaux” wines? If this is the case, will this wine style continue to “win” in the long-run? Based on the popularity now, it would seem so, but only time will tell.
New Zealand Wines Thrive Stateside, Led By Super-Premium Brands
Shanken News Daily – “New Zealand wine imports continue to gain ground in the U.S., with much of the segment’s growth concentrated in the premium-and-above range. Bottled wine shipments from New Zealand grew 9.1% to more than 2.7 million cases in 2012 and then accelerated in 2013, rising 12% to over 3.1 million cases. The trend has continued this year, with New Zealand wine rising by 21% in IRI channels in the 12 weeks ending March 23. The U.S. market’s largest New Zealand wine brand—Constellation’s Kim Crawford ($17-$33 a 750-ml.)…”