New Zealand Winegrowers is investing NZ$3m (€1.5m) in a year-long programme of international events promoting New Zealand wine.

Starting next month, the programme, comprising more than 50 events, was ‘developed to promote the collective (generic) brand New Zealand wine and in doing so assist wine companies achieve their individual goals,’ the association said in a statement.

Anne-Marie McKenzie, marketing manager of New Zealand Winegrowers, which represents over 600 grape growers and almost 400 wineries, said, ‘With increased awareness of New Zealand wine, the task of gaining acceptance and recognition for individual New Zealand wine brands is greatly facilitated.’

Kicking off in September at the Autumn Regional Tasting in Manchester the UK schedule includes the New Zealand Christmas Wine Fair in Edinburgh, the BBC Good Food & Drink Show and the London International Wine Trade Fair in May 2003.

In addition to the UK, seven other key markets are targeted – the US, Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan, Ireland and the Netherlands. These countries account for over 90% of the New Zealand wine export market. There will also be a presence at the world’s largest wine trade fair, Vinexpo in Bordeaux.

‘One of the reasons New Zealand has been so successful in the UK, the world’s most competitive wine market, is because of this unified approach. However there is still work to be done on developing the New Zealand wine category, particularly in newer markets in North America, Europe and Asia,’ McKenzie said.

Written by Tracey Barker28 June 2002