It's definitely not news that New Zealand wines hold international appeal, particularly our iconic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with its grassy, gooseberry, passionfruit zing and that is definitely true of our friends in America. New Zealand was recently announced as the third biggest importer of wine into the US after Italy & France, now considering we make 1% of the world's wine & France & Italy each year vie for the top spot of who produces the most - well that's kinda saying something. It is important to note that this 3rd place status is based on value, not volume. Which is even better as it means that customers in the US are prepared to pay more for a New Zealand wine as a result of our reputation for quality, innovation and sustainable winemaking practices. Our clean, green image overseas means that Americans are prepared to pay more for NZ wine. All that and we gave the world Lorde.....why wouldn't they love us?
Without doubt, the US holds great appeal for NZ winemakers, it's a huge market to conquer but it's definitely not without its challenges as each state has different laws when it comes to the distribution and sale of alcohol.
But we're not here to get into all of that, are we? Nah we want to know which NZ wines do Americans love the most and even more important than that again - what wine are American celebs drinking...
First, the most popular. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc is the number one selling New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc in America selling almost 815,000 cases per year. It's also New Zealand's number one selling Sauv as well. It's easy to see why this wine is popular as it ticks all the boxes of a typical Marlborough Sauvignon blanc, citrus, passionfruit & green capsicum, plus in the US you can pick this up for less than $10 and for about $14 here at home.
Oyster Bay, owned by Delegat is the second biggest seller in the US and growing selling 560,000 cases per year, in addition, their Chardonnay is seeing growth in sales & they launch their Pinot Gris stateside this year. Sauvignon Blanc was the first wine Oyster Bay ever created & it has lots of citrus & high acidity teaming with delicious tropical fruits & passionfruit that jumps out of the glass to tell you it is Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is widely available for about $16
So we know Americans are drinking and loving these wines, but what are the A-List drinking? Well as it turns out at this year's Governor's Lunch - which is the lunch where they announce the nominees for the Academy Awards - they were drinking none other than our very Own Loveblock Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc! True Story! You know what's even cooler? Loveblock is the wine that is made by Kim & Erica Crawford formerly of (yup you've guessed it), Kim Crawford wines! After Kim & Erica sold Kim Crawford to Constellation Wines they set up their own boutique, organic, vegan winery called Loveblock which was the white wine chosen for this prestigious event.
The best part is that the team at Loveblock found this out via Instagram - (Dontcha love social media?), so they actually weren't any part of bidding for this wine to be chosen, it was picked on its merits. This wine is not short on merits, while it has the grassy freshness and distinctive passionfruit we love from Marlborough Sauv you are not overcome by its acidity as everything just seems in balance. This is an elegant wine and definitely deserving of its place on a table full of VIPs. Makes the purchase price of $22 seem like quite the bargain when you know you're drinking like Speilberg!
Click the link below to hear my chat with Wendyl about our NZ Sauvignon Blancs doing great things in the USA