Exports of New Zealand wine hit record revenue levels over the past year, but volumes were down thanks to the small 2012 grape harvest, according to a new report.
Image: © Fresh Picked / Alamy
The Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers, which covers the 12 months to the end of June, says the bigger and ‘more normal’ 2013 harvest had been welcomed by the industry, generating renewed optimism among growers and wineries.
That in turn has led to the first signs of new vineyards being established, but NZ Winegrowers chair Steve Green urged caution, arguing that new plantings should learn from the past and be market-led and demand-driven.
Exports of New Zealand wine were up 3% by value to a record NZ$1.21bn in the year to 30 June, but volumes fell by 5%, the report said.
‘The small 2012 grape crop meant wine was in short supply and wineries took the opportunity to improve their positioning in the market,’ said Green.
Ideal grape growing conditions and a long, dry summer led to a record grape crop of 345,000 tonnes in 2013, up 28% on 2012’s small crop but only 5% bigger than 2011.
‘Winemakers have welcomed the more normal 2013 harvest as the improved supply will facilitate renewed export growth in the year ahead,’ said Green.
But he added that fresh challenges would lie ahead for growers and wineries alike, with supply discipline as essential as ever.
‘Provided the wine industry learns from the struggles of the past, we can look to the future with confidence,’ Green said.
Written by Richard Woodard