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Posted 20th October 2016

Constellation Brands New Zealand Ambassador Visits the Caribbean

Tags: nobilo, kim crawford, monkey bay, cayman islands, british virgin islands

In the 12 months ending in June 2015, total exports of New Zealand wine rose 7% over prior year; a surge fuelled by Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc sales to the US, according to the 2015 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers.1

This positive trend in New Zealand wine sales continues throughout the Caribbean region with key brands such as Kim Crawford and Nobilo recording a combined increase of 9.6% in sales for 2015 compared to 2014.

With popularity of the wine category on the rise, Brand Ambassador for Constellation Wines New Zealand brands travelled to market to take stock of progress and show support in both the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Tom Maling’s first stop was the Cayman Islands where he hosted several training sessions with the Cayman Distributors Group sales team and retail store leads. Having more than three decades of experience in the beverage business, Tom spent his time educating the sales team on the heritage of Nobilo and the fresh and fruit forward flavour profile of Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc. After the morning trainings and tastings, Tom then visited key on premise trade and by the glass accounts to expose the buyers to the latest vintages.

That evening, Tom Maling also hosted a wine dinner at Craft Restaurant where the Nobilo range was perfectly paired with New Zealand inspired menu items. The wine dinner was a huge success. Using social media and traditional radio advertising, the event completely sold out and maxed out to capacity. Some of the highlights of the night included green lipped mussels with coconut lemongrass broth paired with the Nobilo Regional Collection Sauvignon Blanc and the roasted rack of New Zealand lamb paired with the Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir.

The market visit to the Cayman Islands was complete with media interviews and on air wine tastings with two local radio stations where Tom focused on New Zealand’s ‘fresh and fruity’ wine style and how it pairs so well with a variety of meals. Albeit a short trip, it is clear that Tom’s presence delivered another dimension to the presence of the brand in a market so fond of New Zealand wine.

For the second part of his Caribbean tour, Tom Maling visited the British Virgin Islands where he first conducted a tasting for approximately 20 private consumers in the TICO warehouse. Guests learned first-hand about Kim Crawford’s success story since inception to becoming today’s #1 imported Sauvignon Blanc in the United States. Special rare wines were flown in just for the evening and the Kim Crawford FIZZ, a sparkling wine made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes in the traditional Methode Champenoise, was especially well received, along with the late harvest Riesling.

Tom was also able to enjoy visiting world-renown Peter Island Resort, where he conducted a tasting for guests and staff in the beautiful setting of Deadman’s Restaurant by the beach. Lastly, TICO staff and key restaurateurs were able to experiment a one-of-a-kind blending seminar, in which Tom guided the participants through a tasting of six of the over 240 individual wine parcels that comprise the Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc blend. Later, each attendee would blend their own wine, looking for the distinct Kim Crawford style, and capturing its distinct pure fruit flavors.

Tom Maling’s charming personality left a lasting impression in delivering the message that New Zealand is home to some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blancs with unparalled fresh fruit flavors and why Kim Crawford has become one of the British Virgin Islands' favorite wines.