The NZ Winegrowers 2012 Grape Harvest Report released today shows that the crop was significantly smaller than in 2011. According to the Vintage Survey 269,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in New Zealand in 2012, down 18% from the record 2011 harvest of 328,000 tonnes.
Waipara, Nelson and Malborough saw the greatest change with their volumes decreasing by 27, 22 and 23% respectively. The only regions to see an increase in volumes were Cantebury (50% increase) and Central Otago (14% increase) but this was due to new plantings rather than higher yields.
CEO of NZ Winemakers, Phillip Gregan is optimistic about the 2012 harvest saying “‘Going into harvest the concern amongst growers and wineries was whether autumn would deliver the weather the grapes needed to ripen fully. Fortunately in most of our growing regions April saw excellent vintage conditions with many warm dry days and cool nights. The result is that we expect there will be plenty of vintage highlights for consumers to savour and enjoy, albeit in smaller volume than 2011.”
The demand for New Zealand wines has increased significantly internationally so the smaller harvest this year could well lead to price increases.