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Wine-makers joint approach wins export success

In the competitive world of wine-making, vintners will go to great lengths to differentiate their wine from the other bottles in the cellar – but not so in Central Otago.

In fact, the growers who make up Central Otago Pinot Noir Limited have proved so successful in working together to market their region’s distinctive variety that 24 of them are in London this week showcasing their wine.

Central Otago District Council economic development manager Bill Dolan says it was essentially every winery for itself until the cluster was formed.

“There was a spotty record of exports coming from the industry and only the big and well established wineries were having lot of success overseas.

“With the establishment of the cluster group, a marketing manager has been appointed to create a shared and very aggressive marketing strategy to promote Central Otago pinot noir in the UK, the States, Canada and Australia. The response so far has been terrific.”

Mr Dolan is speaking at this week’s Regional Development Conference in Timaru about the economic benefits to be gained from forming cluster groups.

He says regional producers in niche industries should consider joining forces to promote themselves both in New Zealand and overseas.

“Together, they have a much stronger voice and can get their message across loud and clear.”

The growth of Central Otago’s wine industry undoubtedly illustrates how thinking outside the square can boost regional economies.

In less than 15 years Central Otago has gone from having just six very small vineyards growing 50 hectares in grapes, to more than 50 wineries covering almost 700 hectares in grapes. By 2005 this is expected to increase to 60 wineries growing upwards of 1000 hectares of grapes across the region.




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