New Zealand exports have soared - by up to 92% in the case of Australia - with shipments to the US breaking records.

According to New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW), wine exports for the year to February 2005 exceeded 44m litres for the first time, a 55% growth on the previous year.

Sauvignon Blanc exports for the same period went up by 76%, and a new record was set for exports to the US, which were up 60% on the same period in the previous year, to 10.5m litres.

Exports to Australia went up 92% to 8.1m litres, while overall Pinot Noir exports rose to 2.2m litres, up 57% on the previous 12 months. Exports of Cabernet and Merlot blends also went up, by 43%.

NZW CEO Philip Gregan said exports for the 2004/2005 year would approach 50m litres by June 2005.

‘Our export successes are the culmination of several factors – the record 2004 vintage, increasing international recognition for the quality of our wines, and increased promotional and marketing efforts in key offshore markets.’

Written by Adam Lechmere