The Family of Twelve

The Family of Twelve

Starting out

Founded in 2005 by twelve dedicated wine producers, tightly bound by a common love for the craft of fine wine growing.  The Family of Twelve is dedicated to nurturing long term relationships with an emphasis on education through a range of initiatives, primarily in their key export markets, with the promotion of New Zealand wine at its best, paramount.

The Family of Twelve is made up of twelve of New Zealand’s most prestigious and enduring artisanal wineries. The twelve wineries span the full breadth and depth of New Zealand’s prestige wine regions and are Kumeu River, Villa Maria (a Te Hono member), The Millton Vineyard, Craggy Range, Ata Rangi, Palliser Estate, Neudorf Vineyards, Nautilus Estate, Fromm Winery, Lawson’s Dry Hills, Pegasus Bay and Felton Road.

The New Zealand domestic market is highly competitive with around 700 wineries, so virtually all New Zealand producers are dependent on export sales for growth.

The Family of Twelve saw a need for differentiation in a cluttered sector and realised there is strength in numbers. Collaboration is more effective than going it alone, and reduces the overall marketing costs for individual wineries.

The connection isn’t merely intellectual, on a practical level The Family of Twelve share information, best practice and even secrets!  Contrasting personalities, different wine regions and styles make up the family and allow for one voice, one purpose and clarity in a crowded wine world.

Benchmarks of Success

  • Showcasing our backyard
    A key pillar of The Family’s cultural identity and marketing drive is to leverage ‘brand New Zealand and brand New Zealand wine’ - their multi-regional coverage allows them to showcase this in-house. Educational tastings across the twelve wineries compare and showcase the diversity of their portfolio at the same time as leveraging the New Zealand wine story. Their inbound visitors are key sommeliers, retailers and wine buyers, who tour New Zealand visiting each of the Family wineries. This gives each visitor a great overview of New Zealand, the wine regions and what they each individually do.

  • Taking it to the world
    Outbound marketing activities have covered San Francisco, New York, London, Dublin, Chicago, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and the major European trade fair Prowein in Dusseldorf. These activities can include some or all Family members, but wherever they go there is a real interest in competitors collaborating and working together.

  • Research & development
    The Family of Twelve meets three times each year at a member winery. They host an annual viticultural day and have workshops to collaborate and share information on export and OSH issues.


Next Steps

2015 marks the Family’s 10th anniversary, the first decade has been a tremendous success and plans are in place for the next decade. 

Always intended as a marketing driven initiative the members are confident of the value of the events and initiatives and have recently committed to a host of events over the next two years. 

The United Kingdom is New Zealand’s key wine export market, and they have committed to a set of plans aligned to the market opportunities in this sophisticated but challenging market.  This will include employing an ambassador to penetrate the higher end of the independent retail market. 

The family also aims to continue to grow their individual consumer databases as well as The Family of Twelve database and its social media following. They also plan to continue to increase their media coverage and awareness from PR exercises. 

A decade down and the Family of Twelve are rearing to lunge into their second decade!


Key Objective

To nurture long term relationships and promote New Zealand wine at its best.

“What better “mighty purpose” than cultivating the land to make some of the world’s greatest wines from a place no-one but us thought they could come from! ”

Steve Smith – Craggy Range