Sweet success for New Zealand winemakers

01 December, 2009

New Zealand winemakrers will be able to export sweet wines to the EU, following relaxed rules.

New Zealand Winegrowers has announced, on behalf of the New Zealand wine industry, that a new Notice of Overseas Market Access Requirements for the EU market (including the UK) has been issued by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority. The notice, which comes into effect on December 14 2009, sets out new regulations relaxing the rules on the shipping of wines with over 15% total natural alcohol content.

This ruling opens the door for all New Zealand producers of sweet wines, which have hitherto been banned from importation by the EU.

As a result, New Zealand Winegrowers will be officially launching their availability at the Annual Trade Tasting at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London on Tuesday 12 January 2010.

David Cox, European Director for NZW said: “It has taken many years of hard work by the Policy & Regulatory team at New Zealand Winegrowers in Auckland to get this agreement with the EU and they are to be commended for their tenacity. The way is now clear for the UK trade, especially the on-trade and independent trade, to be able to purchase these sensational late harvest and noble sweet-styles wines and I am delighted that we will be showing so many at our tasting in January.”

The majority of the wines that will now be imported into the EU will be made from noble grapes such as Riesling, Semillon, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc and will either be late picked or botyrised in some way.

Details of the Notice of Overseas Market Access Requirements for the EU market relating to this ruling can be found by accessing this weblink: http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz/wine/exporting/nz-grape-wine/market-specific-export-requirements/

In addition to the sweet wines ruling, a number of new Geographical Indications for New Zealand have been recognized giving a greater clarity to labeling of wines destined for EU countries. New Zealand GI’s will be structured by Country, Zone, Region and Sub-region. For wines bearing a GI, at least 85% of the grapes must be derived from the stated Geographical Indication.


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