Te Puna liqueur and spirits maker Distillerie Deinlein has signed a distribution agreement with an Australian liquor wholesaler that could see exports grow 300 per cent within the year.
The Deinlein family have distilled quality fruit liqueurs and brandies since 2001 while overlooking Tauranga Harbour from their vantage point on the Minden Hill.
Michael, Irmengard and son Tobi have primarily sold their products in New Zealand, with about 5 per cent heading overseas.
The high cost of transporting small quantities of product to international markets has been a major obstacle to their export goals, Tobi said.
But this obstacle has now been largely removed with the signing of a distribution deal with a new company called Global Brands Australasia.
A group of liquor industry veterans owns the Newcastle-based company, which focuses on exporting New Zealand products into Asia and the Pacific.
The relationship with Global Brands would allow Distillerie Deinlein to export into Australian and Asian markets at a much reduced cost.
A subsidiary company called Novocastrian Wholesale Liquor will market New Zealand beers, wines and spirits in Australia.
The Global Brands team had a lot of experience in the liquor industry and strong contacts in Australia, Mrs Deinlein said.
"The liquor industry is a funny one.
"It's run by the big boys and if you're too small to become one of the big boys you just really struggle, and for us to be aligned with someone who deals with the big players is just such a huge deal," Mrs Deinlein said.
"We would expect probably to grow our exports into Australia and the Pacific Rim countries from 10 pallets this year to 30 or 40 pallets next year."
Novocastrian will open on May 1 and the Deinleins sent their first two pallets of product last Tuesday.
The agreement with Global Brands signalled a new period of growth for Distillerie Deinlein, Tobi said.
"It's a big step for us, it's something that we've been working towards for several years now. I think down the track we'd like to see 50 per cent [product exported], that would be a good goal."
Deinlein's orange and lemon Cellos, distributed by Federal*Geo in New Zealand since 2011, have experienced a 30 per cent sales increase.
Contract production has also become a big part of the business and is likely to account for 50 per cent of turnover this year.
The Deinleins have produced a macadamia nut liqueur for an orchardist from Omokoroa, grape spirits for wineries, gin and vodka for new brands in New Zealand and Australia, and a kumara vodka sold in Japan.