New Zealand Winegrowers outgoing chairman Stuart Smith says it's critical the industry learns from its export success with sauvignon blanc wine and uses it to make a mark for other styles.
Mr Smith told an annual winegrowers' conference in Blenheim that sauvignon is the variety which has set New Zealand apart on the global stage, and firmly placed the country on the world's wine map.
He says there are significant opportunities for increasing wine exports, which a Price Waterhouse Coopers report estimates could be worth an extra half a billion dollars by 2016.
Mr Smith says the real question for the industry is how to take advantage of the opportunities and how limiting New Zealand's monetary policy will be.
He says in 2011 the value of wine exports was reduced by $80 million due to a rise in the value of the New Zealand dollar in the previous three years.