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On-trade message for NZ producers

Published:  23 July, 2008

New Zealand has been told there are "fertile opportunities" for its wines in the on-trade but it needs to add value and build better relationships with UK buyers

Christine Parkinson, wine buyer for London restaurants including Hakkasan and Busaba, told delegates at the New Zealand Exports' Forum that they needed to add value to their wines. She said "You need to give some provenance to your wines and this is somewhere you can do some work."

She continued: "Add value - give us a story so we can't forget you. We have 350 wines to sell and if you're lucky there's three the sommelier will have time to talk about." Rhne producer Chapoutier was used as the example of an easy-sell as it has several points of difference including biodynamic production and braille embossed labels.

Her other points included:

-building relationships with buyers by running tastings in the UK. "I clear my diary for winemaker tastings," she said;

-label aromatic whites with a sweet or dry rating;

-take advantage of the Asian-isation of British cuisine;

-think carefully which area of the market you want to be in. Parker said: "On-trade buyers tend to hate wines that are also in retail."