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Thursday 30 June 2022

Smaller vintage to dent $2bn wine export market

21st April 2021 By Bridget O'Connell | | @foodtickernz

New Zealand wine exporters could be facing tough decisions about which markets to supply after a significantly smaller vintage compounds low levels of existing stock.

According to New Zealand Winegrowers, although a superb summer throughout most of the country meant the vintage would be of excellent quality, it was also reportedly smaller than prior years.

Ongoing labour shortages, mainly due to the closure of New Zealand’s borders and restricted number of RSE workers, also added pressure at a time when unprecedented demand for New Zealand wine from key export markets including the US, UK and Australia had eaten into reserves.

NZ Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said record levels of demand in the past 12 months 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,” he said.

International demand for New Zealand wine had surged over the past decade, with total export value reaching a record $2bn for the 12 months to October 2020.

“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,” Gregan said.

He added that while it was too early to confirm final numbers, it was clear the overall crop size was down on previous years.

“There will be some variability across different parts of the country, but the industry is anticipating a significantly smaller vintage across several New Zealand wine regions this year.”

The smaller crop was due to cooler spring weather and late frosts, and came at a time when the industry was also facing increased production costs.



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