Brancott Estate

Credit: Brancott Estate

Pernod says wine business will not meet Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc demand

18 May, 2021

Pernod Ricard says its New Zealand wine brands Brancott Estate and Stoneleigh will be unable to meet global Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc supply this year after one of the smallest New Zealand harvests in 10 years.

According to the French company, extreme spring frost events significantly impacted yields following an earlier than normal budburst. Bunch sizes were also down, impacting juice extraction levels.

Pernod revealed it has 34% less Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc this year compared to the 2020 vintage, which was already lower than long term averages.

The lower volumes are also leading to increased costs, which is being compounded by increased input costs and ongoing labour shortages due to the closure of borders in New Zealand.

Shipping costs are also at the highest level since the global financial crisis, which has added an additional layer of expense to operations.

 Bryan Fry, chief executive of Pernod Ricard Winemakers, said: “The reality is that we are not going to meet the demand of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc this year. Being an agricultural industry, the weather can be unpredictable, and periodically we do experience extreme weather events.

“This year’s small Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc vintage is going to result in significant supply challenges for the short term, but with the popularity of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc continuing to rise we are confident we will bounce back. Our primary focus now is to maximise the supply we have got and hold our listings on shelf.

“It is also important to note that while this season’s crop size has been impacted, the grape quality is exceptional and offers intense regional characteristics, and we are expecting to produce some of the finest Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wines in the last decade.”

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