With the New Zealand harvest fast approaching, the warm summer has grapegrowers and wineries feeling positive, however whilst quality is anticipated to be high, the expectation is that the national yield will be down on the previous two years.
“Commencement of the grape harvest is now just a few weeks away and there is a real sense of anticipation this year. El Niño traditionally delivers lots of warmth and sunshine in our winegrowing regions and it has certainly been the case this season,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.
“Since flowering in December, the weather has been close to ideal for grapes. All the reports we are receiving suggest ripening is progressing well and disease pressure is low. With the grapes in excellent condition, it seems we are heading towards another quality New Zealand wine vintage.”
While the quality outlook is positive, Gregan said the expectation was for a lighter yield this year.
“We are expecting some lift in crop volumes in northern regions this year, but nationally we expect the 2024 harvest to be down on the last two years, perhaps significantly so. We are about to conduct our pre-vintage survey of wineries and expect this will confirm all the anecdotal reports of a smaller crop in 2024.”
The New Zealand grape harvest normally commences in northern regions in late February and continues throughout the country until May.
In 2023 New Zealand harvested 501,000 tonnes of grapes and exported more than $2 billion of wine. 90% of New Zealand wine is exported, with the three major markets being the US, UK, and Australia.
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