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Gisborne vintage officially underway

Originally published in the Gisborne Herald

The Gisborne grape harvest stepped up a gear yesterday as GizVin joined Indevin in picking the first of their grapes this vintage.

Some of GizVin’s young cropping Sauvignon Blanc were the first vines to get visited by the harvesters.

The company will start to pick Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir today.

New Zealand Winegrowers yesterday pointed to concerns around labour supply this harvest season.

“Increasing production costs and the effects of COVID-19 on the border, markets, and supply chains have continued to impact the industry,” said NZ Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan.

“Over the past 12 months the availability of labour has been a huge concern for many growers and wineries.

“The introduction of Omicron into the New Zealand community on the cusp of vintage 2022 is a very serious concern for growers and wineries, as this is our busiest time of year, and we are already facing a critical labour shortage in some regions.

“The unavailability of skilled workers due to the ongoing closure of New Zealand’s borders means undoubtedly this vintage will be more difficult to manage than normal,” Mr Gregan said.

Gisborne winegrowers chairman Mark Thompson indicated the labour supply situation in this district was challenging, especially for hand picking.

“The labour supply has been OK in the wineries, but I’m guessing there won’t be much hand picking this year.”

Mr Gregan said although the coming vintage was expected to be challenging, the experience of operating harvest during COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 has strengthened the industry in its resilience to respond quickly and adapt during difficult times.

“Over the past two years, wineries and growers have proven that they can manage the threat of COVID-19 well, continue to operate effectively, and adapt processes to ensure they protect workers and other New Zealanders.

“Our industry’s most important priority continues to be keeping our people and our communities safe during this uncertain time.

“We are looking forward to another harvest of excellent quality, and believe an optimistic approach and helping one another will get us through.”

 

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