Reduced grape crop confirmed
It's official - New Zealand's 2012 grape crop is down 18 per cent, in line with expectations.
This year's grape harvest has come in at 269,000 tonnes, down on the record 2011 harvest of 328,000 tonnes, New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) confirmed today.
"Following a cool spring and summer, the expectation amongst growers and wineries was that the 2012 grape harvest would be smaller than last year," NZW chief executive Philip Gregan said in a written release.
"This view was supported by anecdotal reports during the vintage and has now been confirmed by our 2012 Vintage Survey."
This year's vintage is similar in size to 2010, but given sales growth in the past two years, the reduced crop will introduce a new tension to the sectors' supply-demand balance, he said.
"As a result, it is very clear focus in the next year will be on value rather than volume growth."
While the earlier spring and summer was cool, April was the critical turning point for the vintage. Going into harvest, the concern amongst growers and wineries was whether autumn would deliver the weather the grapes needed to ripen fully.
"Fortunately, in most of our growing regions April saw excellent vintage conditions with many warm, dry days and cool nights," Gregan said.
"The result is that we expect there will be plenty of vintage highlights for consumers to savour and enjoy, albeit in smaller volume than 2011."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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