Winegrowers in high spirits as harvest is up almost 40%

27 August, 2008
Page 6 
New Zealand Winegrowers has reported a 2008 vintage of 285,000 tonnes of grapes harvested, up 39 per cent on last year.

The increase is mainly as a result of the rise in Sauvignon Blanc production. There were also increases in Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, while Chardonnay was down on 2007.

New Zealand's key winegrowing region, Marlborough, produced 195,000 tonnes, up 61 per cent , but Gisborne and Hawke's Bay were down 8 and 18 per cent respectively, due to frosts and cooler weather at flowering.

Central Otago, best known for Pinot Noir, was up 177 per cent, Waiarapa up 111 per cent, Waipara up 304 per cent, Canterbury up 304 per cent and Nelson up 35 per cent.

The growers point out that the high figures are due to a "rebound" from the weather affected 2007 vintage.

NZWG chief executive Philip Gregan said: "The increased harvest is an opportunity to grow sales in new and existing export markets towards our target of NZ$1 billion in exports by 2010."

At the same time, the larger harvest will present a challenge to winery sales and marketing efforts to ensure that New Zealand's premium image continues to go from strength to strength.

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