In a world where global wine sales are receding, New Zealand wines are not only bucking the trend, but doing so at record prices. Due in part to the increasingly popularity of sauvignon blanc, sales of New Zealand wine in the UK last year rose by as much as 17 percent.
“Ten years ago I was adamant that the bubble would burst at some point with New Zealand sav,” said Edward Robinson, a wine buyer based in London. “Certainly, it makes up the vast majority of what we drink over here from New Zealand. But the opposite is true – it keeps going on and on and on.”
The rise can be partly attributed to Brexit, and changing exchange rates pushing wine prices up. However, the increasing success of New Zealand wine could mean that New Zealand is in a position to negotiate for a trade deal with the UK, which has some of the highest wine duties in the world. “New Zealand and the UK are both talking about negotiating a free trade agreement which we’d look to do when the UK is in a position to do so,” said David Evans, New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner to London. “Through that process it might be possible to find some opportunities for the wine sector here through, for example, a reduction in tariffs.”