The Australians bought NZ$247 million of Kiwi wine in the past year – a 37% increase – while UK exports rose 8% to NZ$241 million. Overall exports were up 14% to NZ$800 million and producers believe this figure will hit NZ$1 billion by 2010.
Domestic sales of New Zealand wine will bring total overseas and domestic sales for 2008 to NZ$1.25 billion, according to New Zealand Winegrowers.
Chair Stuart Smith, said a focus on quality and a strong, unified industry were major factors.
“Each year we have made projections about sales and growth and each year these are fulfilled and often surpassed. This year is no exception,” he said.
“The focus on premium quality is clear, with the average bottle of New Zealand wine sold in the United Kingdom now £6.47, which is £2.09 ahead of the nearest competitor.”
He said the quality of vintage 2008 appears “sound”, with the best wines set to be “sensational”.