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New Kiwi wine alliance will shun Sauvignon Blanc

A group of five fine wine producers in New Zealand have formed a new association to ‘set themselves apart’ from the Sauvignon Blanc market.

The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand is made up of ultra-premium wineries which specialise in a single variety or style.

Member wineries include Vinoptima from Gisborne which focuses on Gewurztraminer, Syrah specialist The Hay Paddock and Waiheke Island’s Bordeaux blend specialist, Destiny Bay, whose wine retails at $275 in the US.

Mike Spratt of Destiny Bay told decanter.com: ‘All of our wines are expensive to make so they are aimed at the fine wine market not the commodity end so that is quite different to the rest of New Zealand.’

However the Kiwis’ flagship varietal, Sauvignon Blanc, is excluded from the portfolio with the group claiming there were few producers who specialised solely in the variety.

Chris Canning of Syrah specialist The Hay Paddock added ‘Sauvignon Blanc is such a cut-throat market.’

‘There was a little prejudice toward the variety. We want to decouple ourselves from the New Zealand wine brand image that is slanted toward Sauvignon Blanc.’

A domestic launch is planned for March with an event in both the US, UK and Hong Kong to follow.

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Written by Rebecca Gibb

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