Winemakers who missed out on early investment in emerging markets can find fresh growth in Mexico, Nigeria, Poland and Brazil, a new study has claimed.

The four “hidden gems” have the potential to become important growth markets, according to a Rabobank report released today (23 November). But despite the need to act quickly, investors must be wary of the pitfalls in opening up new regions, the report added.

“Wine companies are now facing the question of what to do with these four hidden gems,” said Stephen Rannekleiv, a Rabobank food & agribusiness research analyst.

“Along with the opportunities in these markets come risks, and the possibility that the opportunity may not be realised. The flip side is that early exposure to nascent markets gives a company hard-won experience and expertise as well as a head start on the competition that will likely emerge as the markets develop.”

Mexico has a booming middle-class population, while Brazil saw imported wine volumes grow by 30% from 2006 to last year, Rabobank said.

Poland has also seen imported wine growth and boasts low levels of corruption, the report said, adding that Nigeria's large population and oil wealth gives it a strong foundation for wine consumption.

A Euromonitor International released earlier this year said China will dominate growth in emerging market wine sales over the next five years but that Poland and Nigeria will also peg strong increases.