Changing tastes and preferences in the market for NZ wine

The owner of Montana Wines and New Zealand’s largest wine company, Pernod Ricard, is set to cull its contracts with wine growers in the Gisborne region.

This action is in response to falling demand for chardonnay and sparkling pinot noir wine, both domestically and internationally. Chardonnay exports reportedly fell 12-14% last year alone. The culprit? Chardonnay’s fairer sister, sauvignon blanc. Apparently we are seeing a significant supply-side ‘correction’, as producers respond to a structural demand shock – consumers’ changing tastes and preferences. Indeed, last year sauvignon blanc overtook chardonnay as New Zealand’s most consumed white wine.

Try as they might, Pernod Ricard have not been able to sway the mighty consumer to stick with the product they have contracted for, despite “new product development, innovative packaging, capital investment and changes in wine style”.

I know at least one TVHE author that might be a little disappointed seeing his favourite varietal taking such a pounding. As for me, well I’ll stick with my reds thanks.

18 replies
  1. rauparaha
    rauparaha says:

    OK, I’m concerned: are we drinking whisky or whiskey? And what happened to your passion for Jager? Have you moved on?

  2. agnitio
    agnitio says:

    hopefully whisky, Matt is a classy beast after all. And we all know Jager will allways be the drink of Matt’s heart.

  3. Matt Nolan
    Matt Nolan says:


    Actually, I just realised I was planning to buy a whiskey not a whisky – as I was tossing up between an Irish or American whiskey rather than a Scottish whisky.

    I was thinking along the lines of Jamesons – should I get something else?

  4. Paul Sharp
    Paul Sharp says:

    The other issue not in the article is supply form new Pernod plantings in Waipara and the falling price per ton for Marlborough fruit. Gisborne has traditionally supplied cheaper Chardonnay but with falling prices in other areas this has given the producers another option for budget supply.

    The continuing reliance on Sav is something that has to be overcome. A change in varietal fashion could be devastating for the industry here.

  5. victor9011
    victor9011 says:

    I thin that NZ wines are great but in my country they are hard to find because I live in Romania wich is very far from NZ. I had a occasion to drink a sweet wine wich I liked very much.

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