The New Zealand Winegrowers have said that as this year’s wine harvest nears completion it looks like 2021 will be a vintage of excellent quality but will also leave wineries with challenges over supply to key markets in the year ahead.
The smaller crop is due to cooler spring weather and late frosts, and comes at a time when the industry is facing increased production costs. Ongoing labour shortages, due to the closure of New Zealand’s borders and restricted number of recognised seasonal employer workers, have also added pressure.
Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, said: “All reports indicate the quality of the harvest so far is exceptional, and we are looking forward to some fantastic wines coming out of this year’s vintage.
“There will be some variability [in crop size] across different parts of the country, but the industry is anticipating a significantly smaller vintage across several New Zealand wine regions this year.”
He added: “We have seen unprecedented demand for New Zealand wine in our key export markets over the past 12 months. This meant industry stocks were at low levels going into vintage, a situation that has now been compounded by the smaller harvest.
“We are already seeing supply and demand tension as a result, and we expect that many wineries will face tough decisions on who they can supply in their key markets over the next year.”
New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries and New Zealand Winegrowers said that global demand for New Zealand wine remains strong in key international markets, including the UK, USA, and Australia.