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Two in five NZ wines ‘foreign-owned’

Despite quite a number of New Zealand vineyards now being owned by ‘foreign’ companies - such as France (through Pernod Ricard and LVMH), Australia (through Yalumba and Treasury Wine Estates), the US (through Constellation Brands), Japan (via Kirin) and Portugal (via Sogrape) - only two out of every five bottles of New Zealand wine are produced by such companies, according to figures released to Drinks Industry Ireland by New Zealand Wine Growers, the representative body for New Zealand wine, wh

This figure is somewhat less than the 60 per cent figure often reported.

“To be honest, we have noticed a trend for some local reporters to greatly exaggerate the foreign ownership in the industry in recent times” stated David Cox, European Director for New Zealand Wine Growers, “mainly because people overestimate the share of production of our large wineries (such as Brancott Estate, formerly Montana, which is owned by Pernod-Ricard and Nobilo which is owned by Constellation). As I mentioned before, some of our largest brands (Oyster Bay and Villa Maria) are privately owned and NZ companies.”

In terms of vineyard ownership and grape-growing, around 80 per cent of the grapes are grown by NZ-owned vineyards, he added.

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