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Cool climate wines fuel premium growth at Matthew Clark

Published:  30 August, 2016

Leading drinks distributor Matthew Clark has seen an uplift in sales of wines from cool climate regions

Wines from regions and countries known for their cooler climates, including Austria, New Zealand, and Mosel in Germany have all seen double or triple digit growth (volume sales MAT to June 30, 2016) and have helped fuel the growth of Matthew Clark's premium Wines of Distinction section, which are up 5.5% YOY.

Matthew Clark has attributed the shift to consumer drinking preferences shifting away from heavier to lighter and fresher styles, with a focus on quality and more food-friendly wines.

Matthew Clark, part of Conviviality PLC since October last year, has seen a spike in demand for grape varieties traditionally grown in cooler regions, with volume sales of Sauvignon Blanc up 12% and Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir up 278% and 22% respectively.

In response, the distributor has introduced Chateau Reynon Blanc from Bordeaux and the range of Shannon wines from Elgin in South Africa.

Simon Jerrome, purchasing director of wine, said: "Our customers are increasingly demanding cool climate wines following a growth in consumer interest in these lighter styles. Consumers are now more wine savvy than ever and appreciate the craftsmanship involved in cultivating grapes in often challenging climates; realising also that these wines are often synonymous with 'high quality'."

The company has reported 4.8% revenue growth since its acquisition by Conviviality PLC last year.

Its annual revenue is more than the revenue combined of its seven largest independent drinks wholesaling competitors - according to the company.

Strong growth has emerged in sales of Austrian wine, with volume sales increasing 103%.

Sales of Austria's flagship variety, Grüner Veltliner is up 14%, fuelled by high-end producers Soellner and Willi Opitz.

The company is witnessing a similar thirst for premium German wine, with producers such as Dr Loosen helping to contribute towards a 61% surge in sales of Riesling from this region.

Sales across New Zealand have grown by 13%, with cooler climate areas performing particularly well.

Central Otago Pinot Noir saw growth of 196% over the past 12 months.

Australia's cooler regions are also in growth with Tasmania seeing an uplift of 80%.