New Zealand Wine: Warm summer boosts 2018 vintage

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

The Marlborough wine region in New Zealand. Pic:Getty/creativenaturenl
The Marlborough wine region in New Zealand. Pic:Getty/creativenaturenl
New Zealand Wine reports that 419,000 tonnes of grapes have been harvested during Vintage 2018, with a warm summer benefiting the country’s wine-growing regions.

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.

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