Brand Team Update

22 Nov 2023

Kia ora tatou

It’s a great feeling to have got to the end of an activity packed year without a pandemic disruption to speak of! Since the beginning of the year, we’ve showcased our Altogether Unique brand platform in all our key markets, culminating with an exploration of the Importance of Brand with a stellar line up of speakers at our inaugural Wine Business Forum in Christchurch. It was so valuable to gather together to connect and learn from each other.

We’re already into planning for next year’s event with a different theme being selected each year. Feedback is a gift, so if you did attend, we are looking forward to your feedback from the post event survey - which can be found here if you have not completed it already, please complete this by Friday 24 November.
If you didn’t attend but would like to indicate your preference for topics to be explored in next year’s Wine Business Forum please click here. We will be sharing recordings and summaries of the presentations, and more information is available later in this newsletter.

2024 is just around the corner and we are looking forward to more opportunities to share our altogether unique New Zealand Wine story in our key markets. A reminder of what we have coming up and how you can be involved can be found here. Also please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the Brand Team if you ever have any questions, and do keep an eye out for updates on our Brand Team Facebook page here.

Ngā mihi nui

Charlotte Read (GM Brand)


Global PR Programme

The Global PR Programme aims to build preference and frequency of mention for New Zealand Wine through the delivery of high-quality PR programmes in our key markets through targeted earned PR and activations in market, as well as the execution of visits to New Zealand by international media. As international guests arrive on our shores in-market pitching continues, to ensure the New Zealand Wine story is constantly securing column inches in key markets and publications.
Christina - Te Mata Peak, Hawkes Bay

NZW hosted international media in New Zealand

In October, NZW’s first hosted international media guests arrived in the country since the New Zealand borders closed in March 2020!
Christina Pickard, wine writer at large for US publication Wine Enthusiast (articles expected to reach 1.4 million people and generate an Equivalent Advertising Value of $75k), came to visit New Zealand wine regions Auckland, Gisborne, and Hawke’s Bay in early October, where she was also a guest speaker at the Aotearoa New Zealand Chardonnay Symposium (ANZCS). The purpose of the trip was fourfold – to offer a US perspective as a speaker at ANZCS, rediscover what was happening in the New Zealand wine scene, discover new wine regions for Christina, as well as produce wine tourism content for travel articles.


Oz Clarke - North Canterbury
The end of October then saw the arrival of UK wine critic Oz Clarke - author, TV presenter, thespian, theologian, singer, cyclist, and most importantly, one of the world’s leading wine experts, known for his phenomenal palate, irreverent style and enthusiasm for New Zealand wine. Following speaking at the NZW Wine Business Forum & Industry Celebration, Oz spent time in North Canterbury, Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, and Auckland. Oz was particularly focused on exploring Marlborough in its 50th year, particularly as it was when he had his first taste of Marlborough’s Sauvignon Blanc where his “world of wine would never be the same again”. He was also keen to explore Hawke’s Bay from the ‘coast to the ranges’ post-Cyclone Gabrielle and see for himself how the region was recovering.

The New Zealand Wine Story

NZW’s PR strategy to drive frequency of mention of our premium New Zealand Wine in our key markets and working with ‘NZ Inc’ is paying dividends, reaching 88 million people and generating an EAV of $3.4 million NZD for the period July 2023 – to date.
Highlights include:  
You can see the rest of the coverage generated from the NZW Global PR Programme here.
For information about NZW’s Global PR Programme, please contact Global PR Manager, Juliana Foster (


Global Markets

The Blind Tasting

This year’s Blind Tasting was held from 15 - 16 November in Hawke’s Bay. Almost 1,000 wines were tasted - 25% Pinot, 19% Sauvignon, 16% Chardonnay, 7% Pinot Gris, 6% smaller planted whites & orange, 6% Rosé, 5% Riesling, 4.5% Bordeaux Reds & Blends, 3.5% Sparkling, 3.5% Syrah and 4% covering Gewürztraminer, smaller planted reds and dessert.
As in the previous year, the panel composition was a mix of production, non-production and trade (a full list of Panellists can be found at the bottom of this page), and flights were extremely small, with only 10-12 wines at a time. These two factors ensure diversity of opinion within the tasting room, stimulating debate, fostering robust discussions and allowing time for all wines to be properly considered.
Following each Blind Tasting, Lead Panellist Emma Jenkins MW, produces a Varietal Summary document detailing the "state of play" across our varieties. Her summaries encompass varietal development and trends, as well as regional, subregional, vintage and stylistic themes. The 2023 Varietal Summary will be sent to all members in December, and those who submitted wines will also receive their results in the coming weeks.
We look forward to using the wines from this Blind Tasting in our international trade and media activity throughout the coming programme year!


The (Not) Blind Tasting

Following the formal selection process of The Blind Tasting (outlined above), The (Not) Blind Tasting was held in Hawke’s Bay for local members and trade. With a total of 987 New Zealand wines open and in tasting order, this provides members and trade based in the host region with a wonderful opportunity to taste a comprehensive snapshot of our industry. With The Blind Tasting travelling to a different region each year, the opportunity to taste the wines will come to all members over the coming years. Next year’s host region will be announced in early 2024!

For further information on the global markets and market activity, please get in touch with Education Manager, Felicity Turner (


Intel & Insights

New Zealand Wine Brand Health Tracker

The New Zealand Wine Brand Health Tracker is a global quantitative survey conducted by IWSR in our key markets USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
It is designed to track the brand health of New Zealand Wine in terms of awareness, consumption, and imagery compared to other direct country-of-origin competitors. It also measures the degree of openness to the purchase of New Zealand wine both now and in the future including profiling current buyers, potential buyers, lapsed buyers, and unawares. Drinkers of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir will also be profiled.
This is the second wave of the tracker following the inaugural 2022 survey. Therefore, the focus of this year’s report is to see how the markets and consumer behaviour has changed compared to the baseline measures established last year. This year’s US survey will also include tourism-related questions designed to assess if drinkers of New Zealand wine are more likely than average to be actively considering visiting New Zealand as a tourist destination compared to other countries of origin.
The survey went into the field in October, data collation and analysis will take place in November, the results will be available early to mid-December and we plan to share the insights with members in the first quarter of 2024.

Wine Business Forum – The Importance of Brand

We are delighted to be able to share recordings of the sessions on our website here. Summaries of the sessions will be added in the coming weeks. Feedback is a gift, so if you did attend, we are looking forward to your feedback from the post event survey - which can be found here if you have not completed it already, please complete this by Friday 24 November. If you didn’t attend but would like to indicate your preference for topics to be explored in next year’s Wine Business Forum please click here.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise - East Asia Upcoming Wine Programmes

To capitalise on the growth opportunities for New Zealand wine in Singapore, South Korea and Japan, the in-market teams for NZTE are running a webinar today at 2:30 pm to give more detail about their activity programmes. They will detail the growth opportunities across Japan, South Korea and Singapore, and help wineries understand their market readiness and assess their brands’ positioning in those markets.
It’s also an opportunity to express interest in the East Asia Wine Immersion Programme. This programme features a market insights and trends webinar to understand market readiness, and a tailored in-market visit to Japan (Tokyo), South Korea (Seoul) and Singapore, timed to coincide with VinExpo Hong Kong in May 2024. This will connect wineries with key decision makers, media activation with targeted wine media in each market, and company profile development through a one-page introduction in English, Japanese and Korean.
There will also be an opportunity to sign up for a specific Korea activity, "Winning the Love of Korean Wine Consumers" targeting wine exporters who are keen on continuing the momentum present in the South Korean wine sector.
Find out more information on NZTE's East Asia wine programmes here.
For further information on Intel & Insights, please get in touch with Marketing and Digital Executive, Maddison Wyllie-Papali'i (



Los Angeles New Zealand Wine Reception

In an effort to keep New Zealand Wine top of mind in our second largest destination in the US for New Zealand wine, a reception for leading trade and media was hosted on 12 October. The event was held at Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica, Los Angeles. Twenty guests attended the tasting where they had the chance to try over 15 wines, including seven varietals and eight regions, alongside Ora King Salmon, New Zealand oysters, and more. New Zealand actress Melanie Lynskey joined as a guest of honour and enjoyed tasting all the wines too. Guests were very impressed with the range of wines and quality across the board. Photos can be viewed here.


Provi is the largest B2B online marketplace that simplifies the process of ordering wholesale alcohol by connecting the three-tier system. NZW is currently running a program with Provi to highlight New Zealand wine and encourage buyers to learn more and purchase. The program is based on biddable ads and is expected to run through the holiday season.

New Zealand Wine Podcast with Dan Dunn

In collaboration with NZTE's Made With Care campaign, NZW has sponsored a podcast with leading journalist and podcast host Dan Dunn, who will highlight the range and quality of New Zealand wines. The podcast will air this week, in advance of the busy holiday season in the US.
For further information on the USA market and market activity, please get in touch with USA-based Market Manager, Ranit Librach (


UK, Europe & UAE

Nordic Tour

An exciting collaboration between NZW and Wine Australia saw 500 wines from 43 regions across Australia and New Zealand showcased to more than 750 wine trade and consumers in Denmark and Sweden.
The Australian and New Zealand Tastings took place in Copenhagen on 23 October and Stockholm on 25 October – marking the first time that both Wine Australia and NZW have run tastings in Denmark and Sweden since before the pandemic.
In each city, there was a trade tasting, masterclasses, and an evening consumer tasting, giving local wine trade and consumers the opportunity to discover new wines, revisit the classics, meet the makers, and catch up with importers.
The events connected wineries and importers in the Nordics with the monopoly, buyers, distributors, HoReCa (on-trade, restaurants, and sommeliers), media, and educators. By connecting exhibitors with key influencers and decision-makers, the tastings aimed to help wineries and importers gain new business leads, secure listings, generate sales, and increase their in-market presence.
Copenhagen event photos can be viewed here
Stockholm event photos can be viewed here.
If you would like to use these photos, please credit ‘Wine Australia/New Zealand Winegrowers’

Wine From The Edge

Wine From The Edge is a collaboration between the Oregon Wine Board and NZW to showcase wines produced at the 45th parallel in both hemispheres.
Previous editions have been held in New York and Toronto and virtually in the UK. On 6 November, the event was held in London -  the first time it had been held in person outside of North America. Bree Stock MW and Peter McCombie MW hosted two masterclasses featuring six wines from each region: one Pinot Gris, two Chardonnay, two Pinot Noir, and one Syrah.
In between the masterclasses, there was a walk around tasting allowing guests to try a wider range of wines grouped into four themes: Sparkling and Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Wild Card – which featured Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gamay and Syrah.
The guest list was made up of leading sommeliers and media, with approximately 60 attending.

New Zealand Wine Tasting – Houses of Parliament

On 13 November, the New Zealand High Commission, NZTE London, and NZW (with the support of a number of wineries) hosted a joint wine tasting event at the Houses of Parliament in London.
The objective was to promote the high quality and ‘good for the world’ nature of New Zealand wine and food to UK MP’s and Lords, as part of the implementation of the New Zealand-UK FTA. Over 90 guests RSVP’d and Phil Goff the High Commissioner made some remarks about the importance of sustainability in New Zealand.

New Release Tasting London 2023

The New Release Tasting was held on 14 November 2023 at 67 Pall Mall in London.
There were 147 wines from 40 producers covering seven regions. A broad range of styles and varieties included Albariño, Gamay, Montepulciano, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Meunier. Vintages shown ranged from 2023 back to 2016.
The 95 attendees included Florencia Gómez (writing for Jancis Robinson), Jamie Goode, Joe Fattorini, Matthew Jukes & Susy Atkins as well as buyers from Tesco, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and the Norwegian monopoly.
Matthew Jukes has since written the following article: Wednesday Wines - Episode 186 – New Zealand New Release Tasting 2023 - Matthew Jukes
For further information on the UK, Europe, or UAE markets and market activity, please get in touch with UK-based Market & Events team, Chris Stroud ( and Sarah Shepherd (



Somewhat Sommit & Altogether Unique Tasting - Sydney

Following the success of the The Somewhat Sommit sessions held in Melbourne and Brisbane in June, the event was held in Sydney on 25 September. An in-market adaptation of the original Sommit concept, Cameron Douglas MS and Stephen Wong MW present flights of wines designed to provoke discussion and look under the hood of New Zealand wine, by pouring classics alongside new wave winemaking styles and smaller planted varieties. Participants are selected through an online application process in conjunction with Sommeliers Australia.
The Somewhat Sommits in all three cities gained interesting and valuable feedback from those who tasted behind closed doors with Stephen and Cameron.
The Altogether Unique Tastings follow the Somewhat Sommit sessions and attract a wider variety of trade attendees. The objective of both events is to reach on-premise and wider trade that lead the Australian market and can position New Zealand wine prominently across high end retail and restaurant, as well as outlets that appeal to a younger demographic.
In Sydney, a total of 14 sommeliers and wine professionals attended the Somewhat Sommit and there were 66 attendees at Altogether Unique Tasting.
A full post event report of the events can be found here.

Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards

For the first time, NZW came on board as a partner with Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards. The awards were held in Sydney on 25 September with an audience of invitation-only sommeliers and restaurateurs from across Australia. As part of the partnership, a flight of New Zealand Chardonnay was presented in the Tasting Trail, and GM Brand, Charlotte Read presented the award for Best Wine Bar Wine List. Next year, a new award category will be introduced for Australia’s Best Listing of New Zealand wines.
For further information on the Australia market and market activity, please get in touch with Australia-based Market Consultant, Cathy Wansink (



Pinot Noir Masterclass with Jane Skilton MW – Calgary

On 16 October, NZW held a Pinot Noir Masterclass for 30 Calgary trade, media, and retail buyers at Teatro Restaurant, where 12 Pinot Noirs from six regions were showcased. The masterclass was led by Jane Skilton MW. This was a great way to dive deeper into our second most planted grape following an overview masterclass led by ‘Sommiteer’ Brad Royale, in April 2022.

Pinot Noir Masterclass with Jane Skilton MW – Edmonton

On 17 October, NZW headed to Edmonton to host a similar Pinot Noir Masterclass led again by Jane Skilton MW. During this class, 12 Pinot Noirs were featured from six regions. This was the first time New Zealand wine had been featured in a Masterclass in Edmonton. The event was held at Wine & Beyond McTaggert Ridge, Albert’s newest premier destination liquor Supercentre. There were 28 people in attendance, consisting of retail buyers and staff as well as restaurant buyers and staff.

Pinot Noir Masterclass with John Szabo MS - Toronto

On 26 October, NZW held a Pinot Noir Masterclass led by John Szabo MS. It was a full house with 48 people in attendance. Attendees consisted of LCBO buyers (category and product managers), media, and top trade. This was a great opportunity to shine the light on Pinot Noir after having hosted several masterclasses on New Zealand in the past. The focus on this varietal allowed for a deeper understanding of not only New Zealand’s range of styles across the seven regions presented but also the quality and cost to value ratio of Pinot Noir coming from New Zealand. 12 wines were showcased.

NZTE Event – See Tomorrow First Reception

On 26 October, NZW teamed up with NZTE, Air New Zealand, and Xero to host a wine reception and networking event for business partners across all New Zealand Inc. sectors. The event, See Tomorrow First, included just under 200 guests at a beautiful event space in downtown Toronto called Second Floor Events. Amongst the esteemed guests were New Zealand High Commissioner Martin Harvey and New Zealand Trade Commissioner Matt Ritchie.
New Zealand food and beverage was a highlight featuring wines from all of New Zealand's wine regions and a diverse selection of varietals - Sauvignon Blanc (classic and alternative styles), Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Red Blends. All of the wines presented were available at the LCBO and were a great way to showcase the vast selection available in our province.

Best Sommelier of Canada Competition

From 13 -15 November, NZW attended the Best Sommelier Competition of Canada. The competition is held by CAPS in collaboration with ASI in Halifax, NS. The winner of the competition will go on to compete for the Best Sommelier of the Americas. NZW will be showcased during a reception for all competitors and just over 100 trade attendees.
For further information on the Canadian market and market activity, please get in touch with Canada-based Market & Events team, Andrea Backstrom ( and Melissa Stunden (



VinExpo Asia 2024 – Hong Kong

NZW is thrilled to introduce the New Zealand Wine Pavilion at VinExpo Asia in Hong Kong, which is set to take place from 28 - 30 May 2024. VinExpo is the leading event for the wine and spirits industry in Asia and booths are still available on the NZW Pavilion - register here ASAP.

New Zealand Wine Altogether Unique China Roadshow

The Altogether Unique China Roadshow 2024 is planned for the preceding days to maximise your time spent in the Great China region. The roadshow is structured into two primary segments: the Masterclass and the Trade Tasting, each contributing to the vibrant tapestry of New Zealand's wine narrative.
Date and City:
  • 22 May 2024: Beijing
  • 24 May 2024: Shanghai
Click here for more information and to register.

2023 China Wine Outlook Webinar - 27 November

The webinar will share the findings of market research recently completed by NZTE including Wine Market Overview, Trade Analysis, wine performance on the popular online platforms Taobao & Tmall, as well as the latest Consumer information.
Ian Ford, the Shanghai based Founder and CEO of market and brand building agency Nimbility, will also join the webinar as a guest speaker. Ian will present what’s happening in the wine world of China, what changes are taking place in market structure and key players, and what this means in terms of headwinds (key issues) and tailwinds (key opportunities) for New Zealand wine in 2024 and beyond.
Register here.

New Zealand Wine Education

Over the past two months, NZW has updated the textbooks for the New Zealand Wine Foundation and the Advanced Course programme for China.
On 1 November MFAT and NZW authorised educator, Brian Yao, hosted two wine tasting events at The Embassy of New Zealand in Beijing for 50 media guests. The next day, NZTE and NZW hosted an education course and tasting session at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Over 50 students attended the session and deepened their knowledge and experience with New Zealand wine.


Shanghai International Wine Challenge (SIWC)

SIWC awards were held in Shanghai on 20 October. Forty New Zealand wines entered the challenge with 32 awards presented - three Best Trophy, four Platinum, 11 Gold and 14 Silver awards. The award-winning wines will be included in various promotion activities including FHC, China International Import Expo and Chengdu Wine Fair, etc.


Lookvin Fine Wine Grand Tasting 2023

Lookvin Fine Wine Grand Tasting took place on 29 October in Hangzhou and 5 November in Guangzhou. Twenty New Zealand Wine brands signed up for the tastings, with a wide range of varieties and styles representing New Zealand’s major winegrowing regions.
The event was very successful with more than 2,300 visitors including media, importers, retailers and wine lovers attending.


For further information on the Chinese market and market activity, please get in touch with China-based Market Manager, Vanessa Wu (

Contact the NZW Brand Team

  • Charlotte Read
    General Manager Brand
    +64 27 507 5077
  • Juliana Foster
    Global PR Manager
    +64 27 700 5013
  • Felicity Turner
    Education Manager
    +64 21 552 173
  • Sarah Szostak
    Events Lead
    +64 21 552 509
  • Taka Nakazawa
    Events Lead (Maternity Cover)
    +64 27 700 6651
  • Maddison Wyllie-Papali'i
    Marketing and Digital Executive
    +64 9 306 5642
  • Tanvi Narayan
    Brand Team Coordinator
    +64 27 181 00838
  • Chris Stroud
    Market Manager – Europe
    +44 7917 417388
  • Sarah Shepherd
    Events Manager- Europe
    +44 7825 699281
  • Andrea Backstrom
    Market Manager - Canada
    +1 416-999-7068
    20 Minowan Miikan Lane, Unit #422 Toronto, ON
  • Melissa Stunden
    Market Manager - Canada
    + 1 416-725-8097
    20 Minowan Miikan Lane, Unit #422 Toronto, ON
  • Ranit Librach
    Market Manager - USA
    +1 917 705 8051
  • Vanessa Wu Vanessa Wu
    Vanessa Wu
    Market Manager - China
    +86 130 4160 2016
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