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Thursday 7 March 2019

Premium wine prices are disgusting, says leading winery owner

The owner of one of the most prestigious wine estates in Central Otago says he hopes that prices of New Zealand wines never reach the stratospheric heights of cult Burgundies and leading Californian cabernet. 

Nigel Greening, the owner of Felton Road, has told trade magazine Drinks Business that he hopes a secondary market doesn’t emerge for Central Otago pinot noir and that he’s “disgusted” by the prices certain wines command. 

Greening, a British-born former advertising executive (below), revealed his dislike for the suggestion that his prized pinots may one day be regularly traded on the secondary market.

“I honestly hope a secondary market doesn’t emerge for our wines," he said. "When it comes to Felton Road, there are customers with allocations that aren’t prepared to sell them. 

"There is a significant buying market for the wines but not a selling market. We sell our Block 3 and Block 5 Pinots for £50, which is not high enough to make them worth selling on.

“I’m disgusted by the prices some wines can command today; it’s shameful. And it has nothing to do with wine. I won’t put my prices up as it’s not a competition – wine is not a competitive sport. 

"It’s ludicrous some of the prices people are charging for their wines. There will always be rock star wines like DRC and Coche-Dury, but a middle of the road premier cru Burgundy can now command £1,000 a dozen, which they won’t get away with it in the long term.

"Central Otago wines are respected all over the world but I don’t want it to become the next Napa Valley."

The 2016 vintage of Californian cult cabernet Screaming Eagle was recently released at $US3,000 a bottle, while a bottle of classic vintage 2015 RomanĂ©e-Conti will set you back over £3,000. 

The outspoken Greening had lots of other interesting points to make in the full Drinks Business interview, which you'll find here: 

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