The country is one of the top ten suppliers of wine to Russia, and its Sauvignon Blanc variety is reportedly very popular with Russians.

New Zealand on Tuesday announced new trade restrictions against Russia, including a ban on trade in luxury goods, in response to the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine this week.

“The trade measures include a significant expansion of the range of banned strategically important exports to Russia and Belarus, and a ban on trade with Russia in certain luxury items…such as New Zealand wine and seafood and Russian vodka and caviar.Foreign Minister Nanaya Mahuta said in a statement on the government website. The measures will take effect on November 4. However, the details of the ban have yet to be revealed.

New Zealand wine is very popular with Russian consumers, and the country is among the top ten suppliers of wine to Russia in 2021 and 2022, according to the Italian wine industry association Unione Italiana Vini. The most popular variety of New Zealand wine in Russia is Sauvignon Blanc, which accounts for 90% of New Zealand wine exports to Russia, news outlet RBC reported, citing market experts.

It is unclear whether New Zealand will introduce a complete ban on wine supplies to Russia, as the US did previously. Brussels earlier this year banned the supply of wine to Russia, which costs more than 300 euros per bottle.

However, according to trade experts, Russia may still be able to source wine from New Zealand after sanctions take effect, for example through third countries.

“The wine is bottled in New Zealand and then sold to an intermediary company… which has no supply ban, and the intermediary sells it to Russia.”, a source in the wine market told the media outlet. Also, some of the New Zealand-branded wines are bottled in other countries, for example in South Africa, and can presumably be delivered from there.

Wellington’s new trade restrictions on Russia will also affect oil, gas and the supply of related production equipment. In addition, it has imposed sanctions against some 50 Russian businessmen and 24 officials associated with the former Ukrainian territories that were incorporated into Russia last week.

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