By Andy Young
The New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) has reported that the country’s 2017 grape harvest has come in smaller than expected, but there is confidence surrounding its quality.
Philip Gregan, CEO of NZW, said that the 2017 Vintage Survey shows the harvest totalled 396,000 tonnes, which is nine per cent down on last year. He added that the smaller vintage had been caused by the late-summer weather conditions.
“Given strong demand in overseas markets wineries had been looking forward to a larger harvest this year. With the smaller vintage however, export volume growth is likely to be more muted in the year ahead," Gregan said.
“Generally summer weather was very positive, but there were some challenges as the season progressed.”
Despite the disappointment and challenges that will come from the smaller harvest, Gregan said that wineries were confident in the grapes and that the vintage would deliver the fruit flavours that are associated with New Zealand wines.
“Reports from across the wine regions indicate that generally wineries are positive about the vintage quality. However, as always the ultimate test will be how the market reacts to the wines when they are released. At this stage we are confident the 2017 vintage wines will add to New Zealand’s reputation as a premium producer of cool climate wines.”
New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries and wine exports are currently valued at NZ$1.65bn per annum. Wine is New Zealand’s fifth biggest export good.