A group of New Zealand's best winemakers will join forces in Germany next month to showcase Kiwi wine brands at a major international wine fair.
The self-labelled "Family of Twelve" - which includes the likes of Villa Maria, Pegasus Bay and Craggy Range - will make its first visit to the Prowein trade exhibition in Dusseldorf, Germany, at the end of March.
"Prowein will allow the family to leverage our existing distribution and explore the growing opportunities for New Zealand wine in Europe," said Family of Twelve chairman Clive Weston.
Last year's Prowein fair drew together 3930 exhibitors from about 50 countries and more than 40,000 trade visitors over three days.
Weston said the New Zealand wine category was currently registering growth in all of the key European markets.
While the UK is already a well-established market for New Zealand wine - worth $284 million in the year to June 2012 - northern Europe is still considered an emerging market.
Wine exports to the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway were worth a combined $56 million in the year to June 2012, according to New Zealand Wine's 2012 annual report.
Weston said the emphasis of this trip on education and "multi-winery promotion" was well suited to in-market events such as Prowein.
"Showcasing our wines as a family highlights not just the character of each winery but also the contrasting and unique diversity of New Zealand's wine regions."
The Family of Twelve was founded in 2005 with the aim of building long-term relationships in key export markets. Its first tour covered San Francisco, New York and London, with subsequent trips to Dublin, Chicago, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide.
The group comprises Kumeu River, Villa Maria, The Millton Vineyard, Craggy Range, Ata Rangi, Palliser Estate, Neudorf Vineyards, Nautilus Estate, Fromm Winery, Lawson's Dry Hills, Pegasus Bay and Felton Road. Six are based in the North Island and six in the South.By Ben Chapman-Smith Email Ben