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New Zealand plans US push

A government-funded campaign promoting premium New Zealand wines in the United States is expected to launch this autumn.

High profile wineries including Craggy Range, Central Otago’s Mount Difficulty, and Marlborough’s Nautilus Estate have formed a collective called the High-End Initiative.

The group is part-funded by the government and aims to improve the country’s premium standing in the US.

A launch is expected in autumn 2010, subject to final sign off from the state.

Steve Smith, winemaker at Craggy Range and chair of the Initiative, told decanter.com: ‘It’s needed because that sector of the market is not developed at all in the US.

‘We want to tell people about the high end wines we produce.’

Sam Lewis, director of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s food and beverage taskforce said he ‘could not talk specifics yet’ but revealed it was part of a $19m four-year project to improve the New Zealand wine industry’s reputation overseas.

He said: ‘New Zealand is strongly represented in the US and we think we can do more there. It is a market that influences the demand of other markets, particularly Asia.’

This initiative follows a similar announcement by another Kiwi producer group, The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand, in January.

Bordeaux 2009: All the coverage

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Written by Rebecca Gibb

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