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.