NZ Wine Fails to Make the Grade, Rejects Headed for Asian Market

NZ wine rejected for being too low in alcohol

Europe says ‘non’ to a shipment of NZ wine

Another New Zealand product has been rejected overseas for failing to ‘make the grade’. Yesterday China rejected a consignment of water for having too much nitrite, today we learn a shipment of wine has been stopped by the EC for having too little alcohol. reports that a 1,000 bottle consignment of Bannockburn Riesling, (Otago winery Felton Road) was rejected for having a too little alcohol before it had even left New Zealand’s shores.

‘Unaware of the limit’, despite exporting to UK for 20 years

The winery’s 2015 riesling had an alcohol level of 8.44 per cent, which fell below the 8.5 per cent threshold set by the European Union.

Felton Road winemaker Blair Walter said he was disappointed that he unaware of the limit.

“We had the wine destined for export markets – it was already ordered and we had the wine sitting on the wharf in Auckland awaiting for the export certificate.

“Then we got a call saying ‘we’ve got a problem with that wine.'”

But no harm done, the wine was sent back to Central Otago

“where it was awaiting distribution to another market”  Read Stuff’s full story here

EC regulations

Regulation 2.4.1 of the European Commission rules on wine states that “wine shall have an alcoholic strength of not less than 8.5% vol or 9% vol depending on the wine-growing zone. However, by way of derogation from the otherwise applicable minimum alcoholic strength, wine with a protected designation of origin or geographical indication shall have an actual alcohol content of not less than 4.5% vol”. source

Fell into the ‘too hard’ category, she’ll be right

As usual with overseas regulations, New Zealand has dragged it feet on sorting out the challenges they present

“As of the moment, New Zealand have not formalised geographical indications with legislation, and without that legal hurdle jumped, it isn’t possible to apply for a derogation.”

Asian market to get wine

Another report on reveals where the reject wine will be unloaded

Felton Road produces around 1,000 cases of Bannockburn Riesling, around 1,000 bottles of which is generally allocated to countries in the EU.

As a result of the EU ruling, this allocation will now be redirected to the Asian market.


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