It makes up 2.2% of overall exports, and bumps up the GDP by NZ$1.5bn.

At a phenomenal rate of five bottles per second, New Zealand's wine is gushing across the border.

Mostly this is in the direction of American, Britain and, naturally, Australia but more and more European and Asian countries are taking an interest.

The industry has been gathering pace in recent years, and the NZ$1bn mark was expected, but not by July 31 this year when NZ$1.01bn was passed - a year ahead of forecasts. The most popular variety is Sauvignon Blanc.

"The phenomenal long-term growth of New Zealand wine exports has been based on a industry-wide commitment to world class quality, in our vineyards, in our wineries and in our marketing and sales efforts," Philip Greagan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, commented.

With the Liv-Ex 100 index of fine wines rising, and more countries taking an interest, the future is looking rosy for wine collecting. 

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