Emerging Regions - Boutinot International

One of this year’s biggest consumer trends is “wines of unusual origin”. Large retailers like Marks & Spencer’s and Sainsbury’s have launched whole ranges of wines from lesser-known regions, while at Boutinot we’ve seen the category grow by 35% since initial listings in 2021. Here, we take a deeper look into this booming trend.

What is an emerging wine region?

Emerging wine regions are places that are either new to winemaking, or that are finally receiving the recognition they have long deserved. France, Italy, and Spain still make up 50% of total global production in volume, but more and more of this wine comes from areas that may have previously been blended away into bulk or only sold to local consumers. Meanwhile, many “next world” producers are gaining global recognition and increasing their exports. Wine exports from Georgia, for example, are increasing by 11% (volume) each year.

Why are they becoming popular?

There are several reasons why these regions and their wines are increasing in popularity:

Global warming:

It’s no secret that some of the world’s most famous winemaking regions have faced extreme weather in recent years. Frosts, droughts, and wildfires have dramatically reduced production volumes, pushing consumers to look elsewhere for their tipple. For example, 2022 saw hail and drought in Bordeaux, decreasing the region’s production volumes by 15% on the 10-year average, while the ripple effect of New Zealand’s drastically low 2021 vintage is still being felt. At the same time, thanks to changes in climate vitis vinifera grapes now grow successfully in places it previously would not have been possible.


Lack of availability from the more famous regions has also pushed up their prices. Together with harder economic times around the world and better consumer knowledge, this has steered many consumers away from big-name regions.


Post-pandemic, consumers are on the hunt for new experiences, which include being more adventurous with their food and wine. Unique and intriguing back stories grab consumers’ attention and give them something more interesting to, literally, bring to the party. Added to that, in order to compete against their more famous peers, lesser-known region wine labels often include more detailed tasting and production information, making it easier for consumers to find a bottle to suit their tastes.


The pandemic also accelerated the use of e-commerce for many smaller producers and stockists, giving consumers easier access to wines they may not have found pre-Covid. Between 2019 and 2021 online wine sales rocketed by 131% to $6bn, and this figure is expected to reach $42bn by 2025.

Experimental winemakers:

Some emerging regions remained under the radar out of necessity for many years. Former Soviet states, for example, had catching up to do after having their agriculture strictly controlled for so long, and some countries in South America and the Middle East faced political unrest. Today, these regions have seen a new generation of winemakers, keen to make a name not only for themselves, but for their region and native grape varieties.

Discover the Regions

Vallée de Maury, Occitanie, (Languedoc Roussillon), France.

Languedoc-Roussillon may have over 200 years of winemaking history, but the region’s wines have often been shrugged off as simple and fruity, and blended away into bulk. Experimental winemaking and better exploration of the region’s diverse topography and soil, however, have allowed premium wines (without the price tag) to emerge. Wines range from robust, complex reds, to delicately mineral whites.



Alo ‘Vert Imperial’ Picpoul-Roussillon, Vin de France
Alo ‘Rubis Rouge’ Grenache, AOP Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Alo ‘Jais Noir’ Carignan, IGP Côtes Catalanes


Nelson, New Zealand.

It may come as a surprise to many consumers that there is more to New Zealand than Marlborough. Reduced volumes and increased prices from New Zealand’s most famous region have opened the door for its shy neighbour just over the hill. Nelson is home to some of New Zealand’s oldest plantings, and its north-facing position between the Tasman Bay and the Richmond Range mountains gives it a sunny yet cool microclimate. The region’s wines are refined, elegant and food friendly.



Aconcagua, Chile.

Long believed to be too hot and dry to grow quality wine, Aconcagua’s rich soils and diverse landscape have proven to be ideal growing conditions for a multitude of grape varieties. Now that the region’s entry level wines are well established and growing in popularity, winemakers are pushing the boundaries of premium wines. High altitudes and cool air from the Pacific Ocean give the wines freshness, elegance, and depth.


‘Leyenda de las Cruces’ Sauvignon Blanc, D.O. Aconcagua
‘The Myth of Motu Nui’ Sauvignon Blanc, D.O. Aconcagua


Ászár-Neszmély, Hungary

Hungary has a winemaking history dating back to Roman times, but the country’s promising wine industry was set back first by phylloxera, and then Communism, which focussed on quantity over quality. It is only since 1989 that Hungarian wine has again received the focus and investment it deserves, with Tokaj leading the way. Ászár-Neszmély is a small region in the north of the country, where vines grow on the foothills along the Danube River,whose cool breezes temper the continental climate.


Sicily, Italy.

Wine has been made here for over 2,500 years, but for a long time the region focused on production of Marsala and bulk wine. The creation of Sicilia DOC in 2012 helped to distinguish the region and as a new generation of winemakers emerges, they are starting to establish the region as one of Italy’s best. Volcanic soils, drastically varied altitudes and aspects, and a multitude of indigenous grape varieties give diverse wines, from simply fruit-forward to complexly intense.


Zagare Vermentino, IGT Terre Siciliane
La Bacca Nerello Mascalese, IGT Terre Siciliane
Da Vero Organic Cataratto, DOC Sicilia
Da Vero Organis Nero d’Avola, DOC Sicilia


Paarl, South Africa.

It might be one of South Africa’s oldest and most well-known winemaking regions, but the country’s status as “New World” has held many consumers back in discovering everything it has to offer, and Paarl is only now becoming better known by name. Well-draining granite and shale slopes give way to sandstone on the valley floor, and the region’s hot, dry climate (not to mention cyclical drought), results in low yields of intense, elegant fruit with naturally high acidity.


Paarl Heights Chenin Blanc, W.O.O. Paarl
Paarl Heights Sauvignon Blanc, W.O.O. Paarl
Paarl Heights Chardonnay, W.O.O. Paarl
Paarl Heights Cape Rosé, W.O.O. Paarl
Paarl Heights Cape Red, W.O.O. Paarl
Paarl Heights Merlot, W.O.O. Paarl
Paarl Heights Shiraz, W.O.O. Paarl



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