13 Dec 2011

Changes recommended by wine industry review

11:20 am on 13 December 2011

New Zealand Winegrowers says significant changes are on the way for the sector, stemming from a recent strategic review.

The review by Price WaterhouseCooper says the key to the industry's future prosperity lies in protecting its reputation for high quality and distinctive wine styles.

The report concludes the industry has the potential to double its exports by focusing on the American and Chinese markets.

It says the export potential could grow by 170 million litres per year to reach almost 400 million litres by 2021, with the Chinese and American markets accounting for more than half of that growth.

NZW chair Stuart Smith says the industry needs to expand beyond the export success it has built in the European and Australian markets.

He says the board has already moved to implement recommendations contained in the report for 10 new or extended activities.

''We're focusing our research around protecting the brand or growing the brand,'' he said.

The recommendations include the development of a compulsory vineyard registry to replace a previous survey.

NZW is discussing the recommendations with growers and wine makers in each region this week.