New Zealand's Harvest Is Bigger… and Smaller

    Figures just released on New Zealand’s 2007 winegrape harvest indicate that tonnage this year was up… and down.

     How could it be both? Allow us to explain…

     New Zealand Winegrowers Chief Executive Officer Philip Gregan said the 2007 harvest was in line with pre-harvest expectations for a crop of between 190,000 and 210,000 tons, and added that the vintage was of high quality.

     “The good news for consumers and the industry is that the vintage benefited from an excellent late summer and autumn, and seems set to produce some superb wines,” Gregan said. “This, combined with continuing strong demand for our premium wine, is good news. Consumers should be pleased with the vintage when they try the new year’s wines. Reports from growers and wineries are universally enthusiastic about the harvest quality.”

     Total tonnage was up 11 percent over the previous mark of 185,000 tons, set in 2006, according to results from the New Zealand Winegrowers 2007 Vintage Survey. The growth is a result of the continuing increase in producing vineyard acreage, as national yields were similar to last year.

     Despite the increased production, it would seem that many winemakers and their customers will be frustrated by shortages, as up to two-thirds of wineries harvested a smaller crop than in 2006.

     “With wine exports up 31 percent over last year, we had been hoping for an even larger vintage,” Gregan said. “Compared with those numbers, a crop just 11 percent up on last year is inevitably going to mean continuing supply constraints for many wineries, and frustrations for customers.”

     Here’s a region-by-region look at the 2007 harvest in tons, along with the percentage increase or decrease from 2006…

Northland  — 203 tons (-3%)

Auckland — 1,241 (-8%)

Waikato — 212 (-19%)

Gisborne — 26,034 (+44%)

Hawkes Bay — 41,963 (+26%)

Wairarapa — 1,949 (-35%)

Marlborough — 120,888 (+7%)

Nelson — 5,623 (-8%)

Waipara — 1,533 (-44%)

Central Otago — 3,434 (-26%)


Posted in Wine Buzz
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