29 Jun 2012

Wine winner sees good future for most popular grape variety

3:53 pm on 29 June 2012

The winner of an international wine award expects the production of New Zealand sauvignon blanc to continue to decline over the next few years.

Yealands Estate Single Block Sauvignon Blanc 2011 in Marlborough has won the sauvignon blanc trophy at the international Wine Challenge in London.

Owner Peter Yealands says it is the second year in a row that an Awatere Valley vineyard has produced the winning sauvignon blanc.

The variety is New Zealand's most exported wine.

Despite a nearly 20% drop in production this year, Mr Yealands says sauvignon blanc will remain the jewel in the wine industry's crown.

And he says the drop-off in sauvignon production could pave the way for growth among other varieties.

Mr Yealands says Marlborough, which produces 70% of the country's wine, is only three-quarters planted in terms of vineyard capacity.