Lindauer is replacing New Zealand grapes in its wine with Australian grapes to cut costs

Lindauer is an iconic brand of kiwi sparkling wine, but soon some of your favorite bubbles will be more Australian than local.

From next week, the Lindauer Classic Brut released will be made from Australian rather than New Zealand grapes, while the Classic Rose will be a blend of Aussie and Kiwi.

Lindauer is a Kiwi favorite, but local grape costs force the Lion owner to look overseas.

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Lindauer is a Kiwi favorite, but local grape costs force the Lion owner to look overseas.

Both were previously made with 100% New Zealand grapes from Gisborne and Hawkes Bay.

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Jane De Witt, chief winemaker at Lion, owner of Lindauer, said the decision was made to keep costs stable.

“As with everything going on right now, the costs have increased dramatically for us,” she said. “We really struggled to find the volume and quality we were happy with to ensure the quality and value that our consumers expect.

From next week, bottles of Lindauer's Classic Brut and Classic Rose on sale will be made with Australian grapes.

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From next week, bottles of Lindauer’s Classic Brut and Classic Rose on sale will be made with Australian grapes.

“Costs are rising, so if we have to supply Lindauer to the consumer at the same or similar price, we simply could not continue to use New Zealand grapes.”

De Witt said the decision would not mean New Zealand producers would be out of pocket, as Lion – which also owns more than a dozen other wine brands including Wither Hills, Huntaway, Daniel Le Brun and Morton Estate – would continue to buy the same volume of grapes and deploy them on other wines.

The new Classic Brut and Classic Rose grapes are said to come from South Australia, which offered the best climate for the chardonnay, pinot noir and pinotage grapes used in the styles and mimicked the New Zealand grapes that had been used previously.

Lionhead winemaker Jane De Witt said she hoped if consumers could detect a difference in flavor it would be an improvement.

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Lionhead winemaker Jane De Witt said she hoped if consumers could detect a difference in flavor it would be an improvement.

Initially, De Witt was disappointed to be in a position where the use of foreign grapes was unavoidable, she said.

“But I’m really happy with what we have in the bottle.”

While every effort had been made to maintain consistency across the non-vintage Classic Brut and Classic Rose, De Witt said she had “decided that you can never underestimate the consumer in this that he can and cannot taste.

If they could detect a difference, she hoped it would be considered an improvement.

The shift to foreign grapes was permanent for both of these styles, De Witt said. The only other Lindauer wine made from non-New Zealand grapes was Prosecco, which used Italian grapes.

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