The sale of £3.99 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is a short-term ‘blip’, according to the European head of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Following the record 2008 and 2009 vintages, increased production created an oversupply problem, giving rise to the first-ever £3.99 New Zealand wines as producers tried to clear tank space.

But David Cox, European director for New Zealand Winegrowers told decanter.com: ‘We are going to see the odd £3.99 New Zealand wine but not very often. I don’t think the consumer will ever get to the stage where they think they can get New Zealand wines for under £4.’

Cox also predicts New Zealand’s oversupply problems should be over next year. ‘We will be back in supply balance by the 2010 vintage,’ he said.

‘There was a bit of off-loading because of the size of the 2008 vintage but we must be a demand-led industry. We have stopped planting and we have opened new markets.’

Vineyard plantings increased by a massive 39% in 2008, and in 2009 a further 10% more vines came on stream. Cox urged the industry to carefully manage yields and is hopeful the 2010 harvest will be smaller than 2009 crop of 285,000 tonnes.

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Written by Rebecca Gibb