NZ wine exports hit record high

NZ wine exports hit record high

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan

Wine exports have reached a record high and now stand at $1.37 billion, up 8.2% on last year. These results have propelled wine to New Zealand’s sixth biggest export good.

This strong demand in key markets bodes well for the wine industry, whose 2015 grape harvest is now underway. Prospects for a high quality vintage are looking very positive due to the superb summer weather said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The warm dry summer of 2015 has been absolutely perfect for growing and ripening grapes. As we move into autumn the prospect is for an outstanding, albeit smaller, vintage in all our grape-growing regions,” he said.

Although the expectation is that the 2015 vintage will be significantly smaller than last year, Gregan believed the sales in the year ahead will be supported by retained stocks from vintage 2014.

Wine writer Michael Cooper told the media that it was too early to trumpet a high-quality season “but things are looking pretty good.” He argued that by world standards most of New Zealand was a wet country for growing grapes. “When you get a drier year like we’ve had this year, it’s good for the grape quality because it means that disease is less of a risk,” Cooper said.

Most industry observers are hoping that the harvest will be smaller than last year after a glut of grapes in 2008 and 2009 impacted prices and New Zealand’s reputation during the Global Financial Crisis.

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