An Overview on New Zealand Winemaking Industry and the Chinese Wine Market

Photo & Text :Maxime LU

Source: ProWine China

In February, I was invited to visit most major wine regions in New Zealand. During the visit, I visited some chateaus with different styles and attended Regional Wines Tastings, which presented a complete picture of the southern-most wine producing country in the world. New Zealand wines feature consistent quality and reasonable price. They are lively, pure and full-bodied. They have clean aromas and distinctive characters. In particular, they boast of rich diversity, which is openly criticized by a lot of Chinese wine enthusiasts.

New Zealand stretches roughly 1,600 km from the North Island (36° S) to Central Otago (47° S), the world’s southern-most wine region. The country has a maritime climate, with all vineyards lying less than 130 km to the coast. Plenty of sunshine in the daytime and cool sea breeze at night result in big temperature difference in many wine regions, offering ideal production conditions for the growth of wine grapes. Being a coastal country, New Zealand rarely has extreme weather conditions. In addition, due to frequent crustal activities (numerous earthquakes and volcanoes), the change of river channels and human factors, New Zealand has complicated ground features and landforms, diverse soil constitutions as well as extremely different microclimates in different parcels. All these terroirs guarantee the diversity of local wines.

Another aspect worth noting is that grape planting in New Zealand originated in 1819, while the country’s winemaking industry hadn’t taken off until forty years ago, not being fettered by traditions. Rapid promotion of new technologies and constant innovation have been witnesses ever since. Meanwhile, local terroirs have been explored. Thanks to these efforts, the grape planting and winemaking techniques of the country’s winemaking industry have reached the world’s top level. The research on the microclimates and parcels in grape planting regions has reached a high level. As a result, the features of different parcels can be fully utilized. For instance, Pinot Noir grown in Wairarapa, Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury/Waipara Valley and Central Otago all have unique regional characteristics.

In terms of area, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir are New Zealand’s leading varieties. In addition, there are quite a few aromatic varieties, such as Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Many winemaking practitioners are from other countries, where different grape varieties are planted. They are seeking for ideal vineyards to plant new varieties, such as Sangiovese, Malbec, Tempranilo, Albarino and Gruner Veltliner. New grape varieties with outstanding characteristics are planted. The diversification of grape varieties will be a trend of the country’s winemaking industry.

According to data of 2014, the overall plantings in New Zealand is 35,510 ha (1% higher than 2013), less than one-third of that of Bordeaux. The country produced 320 million liters of wine in that year, accounting for only 1% of the world’s total. New Zealand’s winemaking industry is small in scale. However, the unit price of wine ranks high among all wine producing countries. Therefore, the country pursues the strategy of offering wine with top quality. In New Zealand, 95% of chateaus are members of Sustainable Wine Growing New Zealand (SWNZ), and some of them even meet the standards of carbon neutrality.

New Zealand’s forward-looking winemaking industry strives to promote government legislation in a bid to enhance IPR protection and crack down on counterfeiting and infringement on local varietals. In April 2015, New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development and New Zealand Winegrowers jointly declared to establish the Geographical Indications (GI) system to protect the country’s internationally famed winemaking regions and varietals. It’s expected that the system will be established by the end of this year.

New Zealand winemaking industry entered the Chinese market in 2007. At that time, French wines dominated China’s imported wine market. In 2008, China and New Zealand signed the Free Trade Agreement, a turning point for the promotion of New Zealand wines in China. Soon, China rose to New Zealand’s biggest trading partner. According to the FTA between the two countries, zero tariffs will be imposed on New Zealand wines exported to China as from January 1, 2012, further cementing the confidence of New Zealand winemaking industry.

In market expansion, New Zealand winemaking industry is also pragmatic and ambitious. The growth rate of export value of wines is the highest of the country’s exported goods. In the end of 2014, wine ranked No.6 in the country’s exports.

With a small winemaking industry, New Zealand pursues the path of providing the finest varietal wines. Based on research and analysis on the Chinese wine market with huge potential, the country has worked out pragmatic and forward-looking promotional plans. Several years ago, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and New Zealand Winegrowers jointly introduced the highly efficient Wine High Impact Programme. Under the programme, influential wine experts from New Zealand participated in various campaigns in the Chinese wine market to build the country’s image as a leading winemaker.

Selected measures in recent years:
– Launching a dedicated Chinese website to promote New Zealand wines;
– Organizing New Zealand wine trade fairs regularly, with workshops, symposiums and food & wine matching dinners;
– Organizing delegations to participate in the most influential local wine trade fairs, such as Prowine China;
– Organizing key opinion leaders (KOL) and experts in China’s winemaking industry for study tours in New Zealand’s winemaking regions, and establishing KIWI CLUB for networking to enable more consumers to gain a knowledge of New Zealand wines;
– Carrying out traditional and social media-based marketing campaigns, for instance, interacting with consumers and publishing information via Weibo (microblog) and WeChat;
– Offering educational programs for New Zealand winemaking practitioners, for instance, holding workshops in the country to help local wineries to gain a better understanding of the Chinese market, so as to work out effective development strategies and expansion plans.

Meanwhile, New Zealand winemaking industry often launches training programs on local wines. For instance, in April, top wine masters from the country offered New Zealand wine certification programs for professionals. In addition to tier-1 cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, training and certification systems are expected to cover tier-2 and tier 3 cities leading wine consumption.

Thanks to consistent efforts of New Zealand winemaking industry, the country’s wine exports to China rose from 268,000 liters (RMB 12.5 million in value) in 2007 to 1,920,000 liters (RMB 131 million in value) in 2014. In 2014, China became New Zealand’s sixth biggest destinations of wine exports, ranking after Australia, the U.S., the UK, Canada and the Netherlands.

Since the second half of 2012, the Chinese wine market has witnessed continued depression due to policy changes. In particular, the year 2014 is regarded as the most sluggish period. China’s total wine imports decreased by 5.7% compared with that of 2013. Nevertheless, wines imported from New Zealand rose by 34% in value and 11% in quantity during the same period. New Zealand wines have further expanded the share in China’s imported wine market. New Zealand winemaking industry has seen more potential in the Chinese market.

New Zealand winemaking industry has much confidence and expectations on the Chinese market. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and New Zealand Winegrowers have jointly defined the goal towards the Chinese market in the next 5 years: The country’s wine exports to China will reach NZ$150 million by 2020. We are keen to see whether the goal will be realized.

– LU Jiang ( Maxime LU )




官方数据要到六月初才能对外公布,不过目前所有的报告都显示: 新西兰2015年普遍干燥的气候,和部分地区的早期霜冻使得今年成为产量很低的一年。




收获季节开始的早也结束的早。葡萄种植者Callum Linklater说,“我们三月初期开始采收黑皮诺,而大部分葡萄园在四月第一周采收工作就已完成。”

今年的收获季是Cloudy Bay有过最早的一次之一。酿酒师Nick Blampied-Lane描述长相思为“饱满成熟的水果——不是能够清晰感受到绿色风味的年份,有白色核果的味道。”

至于黑皮诺,被Seresin Estate的酿酒师Clive Dougall描述为,“果味浓郁,单宁并不过分强劲”,平衡,酒精度并不突出,仅为12.5%-13%。


在黑皮诺为主的产区中奥塔哥。季初温暖,但紧接着11月的寒流来袭,山区可见降雪。“我们在户外行走时带着毛绒绒的帽子,葡萄藤在11月停止生长了。”  Prophet’s Rock的Paul Pujol这样形容 .

葡萄园接下来赶上了温暖的十二月、一月和二月。这三个月非常干燥。虽然二月的雨水带来了菌病的压力,但是雨水和滴灌都未能完全解决葡萄园干旱的问题。中奥塔哥葡萄种植者协会的发言人James Dicey这样讲。



新西兰北岛的霍克湾,在连续两年大丰收之后,又迎来一个好年份。此前担心气旋帕姆会为本区带来恶劣影响,但结果只是一个有些潮湿的周末“降雨量不足35mm,仅为之前预报的1/4.”此后一切如常。Sacred HIll 的Tony Bish评论说,“2013和2014都是特别好的年份。你不能指望每一年都达到这样的水准,但2015也并没有差很多。10分满分制我可以打到7或者8.”





图文/陆江(Maxime LU)   编辑/王智慧(Serien WANG)



3月底,在一大堆微信朋友圈信息里,无意中,看到4月3日下午有一场新西兰主题品酒会,是北京著名的Wine Boutique-葡道(Pudao Wines)举办的新西兰主题品酒会:8款黑皮诺为主的新西兰名庄干红和4款霞多丽干白。我比较喜欢这种品酒会,围绕主题选酒,它的酒涉及多家进口商,可以选出更好性价比产品。


欣然报名,在这些酒庄里我去过其中的三家,Mt Difficulty、Te Mata以及Kumeu River(强大的霞多丽生产商),都是实力强劲,很有当地产区的代表性(这次走访收获不小,详见我正在陆续发出的【陆江新西兰葡萄酒之旅】系列记录)。


当然其他同时亮相的如Felton Road,Ata Rangi,Villa Maria都是赫赫有名的新西兰顶级名庄。








1.Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir, Marlborough,2013新玛利庄园酒窖精选黑皮诺,马尔堡酸樱桃,一丝鲜味,中等酒体,酸度活跃。整体来说是易饮型。

2.Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir, Martinborough,2012新天地酒园绯红黑皮诺,马丁堡果酱香气,酒体中等,单宁柔和,口中果味明显,也是普适大众的入门款。

3.Felton Road Pinot Noir Bannockburn, Central Otago,2013飞腾黑皮诺,中奥塔哥香料,红醋栗气息,中等偏重酒体,酸度活跃,有一定集中度,单宁比较细腻,平衡,回味中长。

4.Te Mata Eatate Wood Thorpe Gamay Noir,Hawkes Bay,2013新西兰霍克斯湾德迈木村,嘉美樱桃、草莓味道,气息芬芳,口中表现活跃,家常易饮型。

5.Martinborough Vineyard Te Tera Pinot Noir,2013马丁堡特拉黑皮诺香气打开较慢,酒体中等,玫瑰酱、矿物味道,单宁中等强度。有一定的结构感,回味中等长度。当天最佳性价。

6.Mt.Difficulty Roaring Meg Pinot Noir,Central Otago,2012狄菲特山麓萝瑞麦格黑皮诺香料,樱桃果味,酸度活跃,有一定的复杂度,柔和易饮,性价比高。顺便一说,这款酒的名字以古时名妓为名,以酒度人,醉矣。

7.Pinot Noir,Central Otago,Mount Difficulty,2012狄菲特山麓黑皮诺樱桃果味,一丝鲜味,单宁中强细腻,分布均衡,结构完整,不错的集中度,回味长。当天最喜欢的一款。

8.Mountford The Gradient Pinot Noir,2009盲富山陡峰黑皮诺皮革、咖啡豆,烘烤气味。圆润柔和,单宁细腻,中等偏强力度,很好的集中度,回味中长。桶味一直主导,用桶略多。








陆江(Maxime LU)

– 国际国内葡萄酒大赛专家评委,独立酒评人,美食美酒旅游类撰稿人,万欧兰葡萄酒教育首席讲师,资深葡萄酒收藏顾问。

王智慧(Serien WANG)

– 资深葡萄酒编辑、撰稿人和专业译者,《葡萄酒在线-WINEONLINE.CN》葡萄酒专题总监,万欧兰文化葡萄酒讲师


编译:王智慧(Serien WANG)

新西兰经济发展部部长Steven Joyce和新西兰葡萄酒种植协会于近日携手发布消息: 新西兰政府将实施立法,建立地理标示(GI)保护新西兰国际知名的葡萄酒产区和产品。对新西兰葡萄酒出口商来说, 这实在是个喜闻乐见的好消息.

若某产品所属产地享有盛名, 它将被冠以地理标志(GI), GI 的意义在于保护特定的品牌和产区, 多见于国际知名产品,比如香槟和苏格兰威士忌。


ConstellationBrands (全球最大葡萄酒制造商)新西兰的品牌经理,Sam Glaetzer说,“这是一个高瞻远瞩的决定,对整个新西兰的葡萄酒行业及其出口都有言之不尽的好处。如马尔堡(Marlborough)长相思,霍克湾(Hawke’s Bay)霞多丽,以及中奥塔哥(Central Otago)黑皮诺,这些备受青睐的新西兰产品,它们的唯一性理应以法律形式被保护。