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26/02/2010

New Zealand producers target reduced vintage

The 2010 New Zealand grape harvest, which has just commenced in northern regions, is expected to be slightly smaller than the 2009 vintage, according to New Zealand Winegrowers’ annual pre-vintage survey.

“Based on data received from 59 medium and large wineries, our expectation is for producers to harvest between 265,000 and 285,000 tonnes of grapes this year,” said New Zealand Winegrowers’ chief executive officer Philip Gregan.

Wineries covered by the survey accounted for 88% of the 2009 grape harvest.

A grape intake in the forecast range would be marginally smaller than the 2009 and 2008 vintages, both of which saw 285,000t of grapes harvested.

The vintage will be produced from around 33,000 hectares of grapes, up 2,000ha from last year.

“The challenging global environment in which New Zealand wines are being marketed and sold means producers will continue to focus on the key element in New Zealand wines’ export success of the past two decades – producing world class grapes and wines,” said Gregan.

“The prospect of a slightly reduced vintage, despite further increases in producing areas, testifies to that quality focus.”

Gregan says he is positive about the vintage’s outlook.

“Although in some regions the harvest seems to be running a week or two later than last year, the prospects for the vintage are looking good,” he said.

“The key for a successful harvest will be the weather over the next two months.”

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