NZ sells $422mn of wine to the US in 2017, beats Australia

By Addie Thomes

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.  

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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.

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