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Tesco doubles NZ wines and expands Finest range

Tesco is hoping to satisfy UK consumers’ growing desire for New Zealand wine by more than doubling its range of Kiwi bottles. The expanded range of 44 wines will have a greater emphasis on emerging New Zealand varietals as well as an increased number at the premium end.

The move reflects a rapidly growing market for New Zealand wine in the UK, which has seen sales increase by 31 per cent over the past year, according to a recent Off Licence News report. At Tesco alone, sales of New Zealand wine have soared by 70 per cent. The fact that New Zealand wine’s average bottle price is over £6 – the highest of any country – seems to be doing nothing to put drinkers off.

James Davis, Tesco buying manager for New Zealand, said, ‘We have been able to source some really exciting wines that will offer our customers the depth and range of wines that they demand.’ He added that, although inherent to Tesco’s business, ‘New Zealand is not just about Sauvignon Blanc. We wanted to show our customers the best of what New Zealand has to offer in terms of varietals, regional diversity and premium offerings.’

To this end, on the white front the new range will include several premium Sauvignon Blancs, along with aromatic New Zealand varieties, for which Tesco is finding increasing demand, such as Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Riesling. With reds, it’s Pinot Noir that Tesco shoppers are clamouring for, so another three from Villa Maria will strengthen the range. Beyond that, there’s a Syrah from Hawkes Bay, an area that’s getting a growing world-class reputation for this variety, along with a Zinfandel and an aged Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend.

At the same time Tesco is also adding 24 new wines to its Finest range, underlining a growing demand from consumers for more quality wines. As a result, Tesco says it has teamed up with some of the world’s best winemakers ‘to offer its customers an unrivalled opportunity to explore its range with confidence’. So from this month there will be Finest bottles from the likes of Cave de Tain, Planeta, Fournier and Baron de Ley. Tesco is also introducing some more unusual varietals to the Finest range, such as Fiano, Nero d’Avola and Albarino, along with wines from areas that are less familiar to UK consumers, such as Spain’s Rueda and Ribera del Duero. But wines that head current trends will also feature, such as Pinot Grigio from Australia, Chardonnay Viognier from Argentina and a Finest Prosecco.

Jason Godley, Tesco wine category manager, said, ‘With these new additions, we are now able to offer a more dynamic Finest range, which gives people the confidence to experiment with unusual grape varieties, new countries and interesting blends, but with the reassurance of the Tesco brand.’