3 Jun 2010

Wine industry gets $1.2m to crack US market

8:52 pm on 3 June 2010

The Government is tipping money into the wine industry vat to help with a marketing push into the United States and some other markets.

It has announced funding of $1.2 million over two years for an initiative aimed at marketing high-end wine into the lucrative US market.

Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee says it is one of a number of moves to help the industry reach its target of $2 billion worth of exports per year by 2020.

The project includes developing a wine strategy in the emerging China market and lifting sales in northern Europe as well.

New Zealand Winegrowers says the US market is worth more than $200 million per year.

Chief executive Philip Gregan says the announcement builds on promotional work that the wine industry has been doing in the US for some time and he expects strong growth in coming years.

The industry is also developing a wine strategy in the emerging China market and is working on expanding the northern Europe market.

Pinot Noir leads US push

Pinot Noir will lead the marketing push in the United States.

Twenty one wineries have banded together to boost wine sales in the US from $10 million per year to $50 million by 2015. The Government is contributing $1.2 million, over the next two years to the initiative, which will be matched by the wineries involved.

Group chair Steve Smith says they are targetting the lucrative high-end of the market, in which New Zealand currently has only a small presence.

Until now, he says the industry has banked on the success of Marlborough sauvignon blanc.

The campaign will focus on high-end markets in New York, San Francisco and Chicago.