The marketing body aims to expand distribution of New Zealand’s ultra-premium wines in markets which prize “specialisation and quality”, including the UK.
It is made up of producers who specialise in a single grape variety or style. Founding members include Bordeaux blend specialists Destiny Bay, which claims to be New Zealand's most expensive wine, and Central Otago's acclaimed Pinot Noir producer Wooing Tree.
Mike Spratt, from Destiny Bay, said: "Together we represent the best of New Zealand's wine styles, yet each with its own unique story and personalities attached. The world's fine wine markets are looking for precisely these attributes in their wines, but the cost of reaching them and telling our stories to them individually is daunting, if not prohibitive. Now we can provide a single point of access."
Chris Canning, whose 30 year search for the right variety in the right place led to him planting Syrah on Waiheke Island, added: "When we got together and started talking we recognised that we shared a common fanaticism which, to outsiders, might be seen as a mild form of insanity. Focusing on making the very best in a single variety or style is a risky and lonely proposition, yet it is hard to imagine how the very highest standards can be achieved without that focus."
The group will promote their wines at drinks industry and consumer events in the coming months and has plans to open up membership to producers who specialise in other varieties including Chardonnay and Riesling.