India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Thursday, 22 July 2010 11:16

NZ Sauvignon Blanc going Sideways?

After taking the world by the storm, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand seems to be in trouble as several wineries in Marlborough have gone into receivership with more expected to follow due to the rising NZ dollar and oversupply of sauvignon blanc, especially in Australia where early signs of resurgence of Chardonnay are appearing. 

After years of continuous decline in consumption of the once-loved Chardonnay, Australian winemakers and retailers have started to detect a rebound by chardonnay. "It's probably very early days, we are not noticing a big bounce in cellar door sales but chardonnay seems to be talked about a little bit more," said Richard Howden, general manager of the Yarra Valley Wine Growers Association.

"Sauvignon Blanc has had its boom, but wine is a fashion industry." The US movie Sideways in 2004 had turned out to be a boon for Pinot Noir and a downfall for Merlot which was considered temporary at the time. But the varietal is still taking a beating in the vine and wine market. Similarly, Aussie Chardonnay had taken the fall with its heavy oak style which has been going out of favour but with many producers understanding the market likes and dislikes are changing the style back to more fruit forward style.

Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough has been replacing the Chardonnay with constant frequency and the sale of Chardonnay has been decreasing from A$420 million in 2004 to $312m by 2009. During the same period, sales of Sauvignon Blanc, mostly from Marlborough exploded from A$54m to A$345m with the cool-climate crisp style sauvignon blanc proving a big hit at the Australian social parties and barbecue. Dan Murphy, the national wine and liquor store found that four of its six biggest-selling wines during its Christmas sales last year were Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

But now the sales have been coming down with several Marlborough wineries collapsing last month including Cape Campbell Wines, Awatere Vineyard Estates and Gravitas Wines. Industry experts believe that more wineries could soon collapse, as the high New Zealand dollar crimps export earnings and an overplanting of Sauvignon Blanc forces prices lower.

NZ fights back with Research

NZ industry is well aware of the problem and has taken steps to maintain its share in the market. One such initiative is from the Foundation for Research Science and Technology which has given a grant that will extend a research project on Sauvignon Blanc that began six years ago with $9.6m from the Government and $7m from the wine industry.

Although details of the new programme are yet to be announced at the three-day national Romeo Bragato Conference, on August 26-28,  the research is expected to give industry information to help make consistently good Sauvignon Blanc, according to the geographic location of the customer. Several ways have been examined to use geography, growing conditions and winemaking techniques to broaden the range of flavours in the wine. For instance, researchers could determine how to create certain taste preferred in  a particular market, especially for developing markets such as China and Japan.

Ideally, a "juice index" would enable winemakers to objectively measure the flavour and aroma potential in the raw product.

Sauvignon Blanc accounts for 80 per cent of New Zealand's wine exports, but during the recession some growers and winemakers have run into problems.The sauvignon blanc project's vision statement estimates the programme contributes $100m to $220m a year in wine exports for New Zealand. Whether the Aussie statement is a PR excercise to promote Chardonny or not will be known soon enough but in India, the NZ Sauvignon is quite popular due to its pleasant flavour profile and the ease with each it is available in retail but more importantly, in the restaurants.



Devesh Kumar Says:

Nice to hear about Australian Chardonnay scaling up but i am sure nz is gonna device a plan to maintain high reputation of it's Sauvignon Blanc which is just the best of it's kind. when it comes to sauvignon blanc or white wine for that matter NZ Sauvignon Blanc is always going be the most saught after.

Posted @ July 23, 2010 15:04


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.

Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet