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.

  • No more cheap chard for me then:(

  • Who drinks wine when there is perfectly good whiskey around?

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

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

  • I’d like to think so, but you can never trust an Irishman when alcohol’s involved 😛

  • What would Hayek say

    Single malt

  • goonix

    Whisk(e)y – yuck!

  • Somewhat related – alcohol excise tax to increase tomorrow…


  • @rauparaha

    Bahahahaha, woops 😛 .


    Indeed, I love Jager, but I’ve been told that no-one else does. As a result, I’m not buying it.

  • @rauparaha

    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?

  • @Matt Nolan
    I kinda prefer Scotch whisky, but I can definitely handle an Irish whiskey. It’s just bourbons that I really can’t stand, actually.

  • @rauparaha

    I love bourbon – but most people I know don’t. Hence why I was steering towards an Irish whiskey for the night.

  • 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.

  • @Paul Sharp
    That’s interesting insight thanks Paul.

    All the ‘eggs in one basket’ is definitely a risky strategy…

  • I love chard , Think I have to make some changes in my taste

  • No more cheap chard for me then:(

  • 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.

  • i love a good chardonay