The 2018 harvest is up 6% on 2017 tonnage: which is good news given that last year’s harvest suffered from poor weather conditions (down 9% on the year before).
While this year’s harvest has benefited from the warm summer, many wineries had been hoping for a larger harvest to compensate for 2017.
“We now expect export growth in the year ahead will be modest,” said Philip Gregan, CEO, New Zealand Winegrowers. “It will be up to wineries to manage any product shortages from the vintage.”
Pinot Noir and Merlot up 20%
The warm summer has also produced fruit with good ripeness levels.
Red wine is a highlight from the vintage, with an increase in production.
“Production of both Pinot Noir and Merlot has lifted more than 20% on last year, which will be welcomed by both wineries and consumers,” said Gregan. “These varieties were down sharply in 2017 and it is very positive to see a return to more normal production levels this year.”
Wine is New Zealand’s fifth largest export good. New Zealand wine exports are currently valued at $1.71bn ($1.18bn USD), up 3% in the past year.