New Zealand maintained its position as the USA’s third most popular wine importing nation during 2017, pipping Australia for the second year running.
Of NZ’s total $1.21bn (NZ$1.66bn) of wine exports last year, $422mn (NZ$579mn) made its way to the US, with Australia sending $406mn (NZ$558mn).
Italy and France were the only countries to send greater values of wine to America last year.
Given New Zealand produces less than 1% of the world’s wine, these are strong findings for the industry.
NZ Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan said: “What began as just a few hundred thousand cases per year in the late 1990s, is now over 7.7mn cases imported to the US per annum.
“We have a reputation for premium quality and innovation. New Zealand itself is also a vital part of the success, with our sustainability practices and clean, green image very attractive to consumers, meaning they are prepared to pay a premium for our wines.”
Sauvignon Blanc is driving these high export numbers to the US, although the number of red wine shipments rose 23% in 2017. Overall NZ wine import volumes to the US grew by 5% last year.
In 2020, the industry is hoping to export NZ$2bn of wine around the world.