Internationalisation of small and medium New Zealand wineries: An exploratory study


Internationalisation strategies, such as exports, present business and growth opportunities for many enterprises, including those small and medium. In recent years, many of these small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have become predominant in New Zealand's burgeoning wine sector.

Despite the importance that the growth of this group represents, in terms of their contribution to New Zealand's economy, little has been reported to date on small and medium winery operators, particularly from an academic perspective. Lack of academic research is obvious concerning operators' involvement, intentions or perspectives on internationalisation strategies.

This study examines these dimensions from a group of 82 small and medium New Zealand wineries. The findings demonstrate that the majority of the participating operators are currently involved in internationalisation efforts (i.e. exports). However, respondents also indicate challenges in the form of high government taxes and in marketing their wines. With the potential growth in production and increasingly recognised quality of New Zealand wines, the need to develop, maintain and improve international marketing channels becomes crucial for the future of much of the nation's wine sector.


Abel Duarte Alonso
School of Management, University of Western Sydney, Sydney NSW; School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup WA


Ahmed, Z.U., C. Julian, I. Baalbaki, and T.V. Hadidian, (2006). 'Firm internationalisation and export incentives from a Middle Eastern perspective.' Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 13(4): 660-669.

Aylward, D. and J. Glynn (2006). 'SME innovation within the Australian wine industry: A cluster analysis.' Small Enterprise Research: The Journal of SEAANZ (Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand), 14: 1-17.

Benson-Rea, M., R.J. Brodie, and W. Cartwright (2003). 'Strategic issues facing the New Zealand wine industry in a global environment.' Proceedings of the International Colloquium in Wine Marketing. Adelaide, Australia; Wine Marketing Group, University of South Australia.

Bigongiari, D. (2003). 'South American vineyards, wineries and wines.' Austral Spectator, Buenos Aires.

Bloodgood, J.M. (2006). 'Venture adolescence: Internationalization and performance implications of maturation.' International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 12: 67-84.

Castaldi, R., S. Cholette, and M. Hussain (2006). 'A country level analysis of competitive advantage in the wine industry.' DEIAgra Working Paper, University of Bologna, Vol. 2.

Cavusgil, S.T. (1993). 'Preparing for export marketing.' International Trade Forum, 2: 16-20.

Charters, S., and K. Loughton (2000). 'Attitudes to small business in the wine industry.' Proceedings of the International Council of Small Business (ICSB) Conference, Brisbane (available at

Cholette, S., R.M. Castaldi, and A. Fredrick (2005). 'The globalization of the wine industry: Implications for Old and New World producers.' Proceedings of the Fourth International Business and Economy Conference (2005 IBEC), Hawaii.

Coviello, N.E. and H.J. Munro (1995) 'Growing the entrepreneurial firm: Networking for international market development.' European Journal of Marketing, 29: 49-61.

De Clerq, D., H.J. Sapienza, and H. Crijns (2005). 'The internationalization of small and medium-sized firms.' Small Business Economics, 24: 409-419.

Echecopar, G., M. Fetters, and T. McDermott (2004). 'Entrepreneurship, an engine for innovation.' URL (Visited 2007, August 13).

Forsman, M., Hintu, S., and S. Kock (2002). 'Internationalization from a SME Perspective.' Proceedings of the 18th IMP Conference, Dijon, 9-11 September, France.

García Fernández, M.J. (1999). 'Estudio de la evolución temporal de los caracteres madurativos de las cepas listán negro, listán blanco y negramoll en la denominación de origin Tacoronte- Acentejo.' Doctoral thesis, University of La Laguna, Spain.

Gettler L. (2003). 'Giants Tipped to Dominate Industry.' The Age (May 23). URL (Visited 2010, June 13).

Gumede, V., and K. Rasmussen (2002). 'Small manufacturing enterprises and exporting in South Africa: A preliminary assessment of key export success factors.' Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 9(2): 162-171.

Hall, C.M., L. Sharples, B. Cambourne, N. Macionis, R. Mitchell, and G. Johnson (2000). Wine tourism around the world: Development, management and markets. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford.

Jarvis, W., and S. Goodman (2003). 'To niche or not to niche?' The Australian and New Zealand Grapegrower and Winemaker Journal, 477.

Jarvis, W., and S. Goodman (2005). 'Effective marketing of small brands: Niche positions, attribute loyalty and direct marketing.' Journal of Product and Brand Management, 14(5): 292-299.

Jenkin, E. (2009). 'New Zealand wines win top international awards.' New Zealand Herald online. URL

Johanson, J., and L. G. Mattson (1993). 'Internationalization in industrial systems - a network approach, strategies in global competition', in Buckley, P.J. and Ghauri, P.N. (Eds), The internationalization of the firm: A reader (pp. 303- 322), Academic Press, London.

Kirby, D.A., and S. Kaiser (2003). 'Joint ventures as an internationalisation strategy for SMEs.' Small Business Economics, 21: 229-242.

Kisfalvi, V. (2002). 'The entrepreneur's character, life issues, and strategy making: A field study.' Journal of Business Venturing, 17: 489-518.

Knight, G.A., and S.T. Cavusgil (2004). 'Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born-global firm.' Journal of International Business Studies, 35: 124-141.

Lages, L.F. (2000). 'Wine marketing and wine business: Insights from Portuguese exporters.' Wine Industry Journal, 15(4): S25-S33.

Lim, J., W. Sharkey, and K.I. Kim (1996). 'Competitive environmental scanning and export involvement: An initial inquiry.' International Marketing Review, 13: 65-80.

Loane, S., and J. Bell (2006). 'Rapid internationalisation among entrepreneurial firms in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand: An extension to the network approach.' International Marketing Review, 23: 467-485.

Marques-Vidal, P. and C.M. Dias (2005). 'Trends and determinants of alcohol consumption in Portugal: Results from the National Health Surveys 1995 to 1996 and 1998 to 1999.' Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 29(1): 89-97.

Marshall, R.S., M.E.M. Akoorie, R. Hamann, and P. Sinha (2009). 'Environmental practices in the wine industry: An empirical application of the theory of reasoned action and stakeholder theory in the United States and New Zealand.' Journal of World Business, 45(4): 405-414.

Meyer, K., and A. Skak (2002). 'Networks, serendipity and SME entry into Eastern Europe.' European Management Journal, 20: 179-188.

Michael, R.S. (2001). 'Crosstabulation & Chi square.' Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. URL (Visited 2010, June 15).

Ministry of Economic Development (2007). 'Defining small and medium-sized enterprises.' URL DocumentPage_28567.aspx (Visited 2007, March 6).

Ministry of Tourism. (2007). 'Tourist activity/Wine tourism.' URL (Visited 2008, June 19).

Mort, G.S., and J. Weerawardena. (2006). 'Networking capability and international entrepreneurship: How networks function in Australian born global firms.' International Marketing Review, 23: 549-572.

New Zealand Wine (2010). 'Annual Report (2009).' URL (Visited 2010, June 14)

New Zealand Wine. (2006). 'New Zealand winegrowers annual report year end June.' URL (Visited 2007, November 12).

Rowden, R.W. (2001). 'Research note: How a small business enters the international market.' Thunderbird International Business Review, 43: 257-268.

Rundh, B. (2001). 'International market development: New patterns in SMEs international market behaviour?' Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 19: 319-329.

Ruzzier, M., R.D. Hisrich, and B. Antoncic (2006). 'SME internationalization research: Past, present and future.' Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 13: 476-497.

Santos, J. R. A. (1999). 'Cronbach's Alpha: A tool for assessing the reliability of scales. Journal of Extension, 37(2), URL (Visited 2010, January 10).

Scanlan, C.L. (n.d.). 'Introduction to nonparametric statistics.' URL (Visited 2010, June 10).

Sharples, L. (2002). 'Wine tourism in Chile ... A brave new step for a brave new world.' International Journal of Wine Marketing, 14: 43-53.

Sheth, J.N., and A. Parvatiyar (2001). 'The antecedents and consequences of integrated global marketing.' International Marketing Review, 18: 16-29.

Swaminathan, A. (2001). 'Resource partitioning and the evolution of specialist organizations: The role of location and identity in the U.S. wine industry.' The Academy of Management Journal, 44(6): 1169-1185.

Visser, E-J. (2004). 'A Chilean wine cluster? Governance and upgrading in the phase of internationalization.' WP Desarollo Productivo, 154, CEPAL, Santiago, Chile.

Visser, E-J., and P. de Langen. (2006). 'The importance and quality of governance in the Chilean wine industry.' GeoJournal, 65: 177-197.

Westhead, P., M. Wright, and D. Ucbasaran (2002). 'International market selection strategies selected by 'micro' and 'small' firms.' Omega, 30: 51-68.

White, D., and A. Korotayev (2003). 'Chapter 5 - Statistical analysis of cross-tabs.' URL (Visited 2010, June 3).

Wickramasekera, R., and D. Bond (2004). 'Exploration of factors aiding rapid internationalisation within the wine industry.' Proceedings of the Australia - New Zealand International Business Association Conference: Dynamism and Challenges in Internationalisation, Canberra, Australia.

Wickramasekera, R., and E. Oczkowski (2004). 'Key determinants of the stage of internationalisation of Australian wineries.' Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 21: 425-444.

Wilkinson, T.J., A. McAlister, and S. Widmier (2007). 'Reaching the international consumer: An assessment of the international direct marketing environment.' Direct Marketing: An International Journal, 1:17-37.

Winch, G.W., and C. Bianchi (2006). 'Drivers and dynamic processes for SMEs going global.' Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 13(1): 73-88.

Wine Institute (2010). 'World wine production by country.' URL (Visited 2010, June 15).


wine sector; small and medium wineries; winery owners; internationalisation; internationalisation strategies; New Zealand


PP: 058 - 073

Sign Me Up for latest release updates

*  Email Address:
    First Name:
    Last Name:
*  I am interested in:


Special Issues

Indigenous Enterprise and Small Business
Volume /

Freelancers and Independent Contractors
Volume /

Understanding small enterprises: Healthy lives in healthy businesses
Volume 21/2
Summary | Contents

Family Business
Volume 20/2
Summary | Contents

Home-based business + general section
Volume 17/2
Summary | Contents

Public policy and enterprise development + general section
Volume 17/1
Summary | Contents - The citation linking backbone

Website by Fig Creative Sunshine Coast Website Design