Latest figures from the New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s grape and wine sector, shows that total wine export value in the country has now surged to a record high of NZ$2bn ($1.4bn).

New Zealand wine exports reached this value for the 12 months ending October.

Ten years ago, the industry group predicted that wine exports would double and reach NZ$2bn in 2020.

The association noted that the country’s winemakers achieved this range despite witnessing challenging vintages, recessions and the current global coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand Winegrowers Chair Clive Jones stated: “This milestone reflects the appreciation that the world has for New Zealand wine, and reinforces our international reputation for distinct, premium and sustainable wines.

“This year’s export result means that there are millions of bottles of New Zealand wine displayed in stores, in restaurants, or sitting on tables in dining rooms all around the world, proudly showing New Zealand on the label and profiling our wine regions.”

Export performance has been significantly strong even in 2020, with the country seeing an increase of 19% for the first four months of the year (July to October) when compared to the same period of last year.

Clive Jones added: “We are optimistic that demand for New Zealand wine will continue to grow in the year ahead, and then it will become a question of whether our supply can meet that demand.

“While Sauvignon Blanc remains our flagship export, consumers are continuing to explore the diverse range of wine varieties we produce, with Pinot Noir remaining our second most exported variety, and Rosé and Pinot Gris becoming increasingly popular.”

According to the New Zealand Winegrowers’ 2019 report, the export value of wine produced in the country reached NZ$$1.83bn ($1.16bn).