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Autumn Wine Chat

Ongoing international demand and low stock levels mean that New Zealand winemakers are hopeful for a significantly larger harvest in 2022 to boost the industry, according to New Zealand Winegrowers’ CEO Philip Gregan.

“The 2021 harvest, while of exceptional quality, was 19 percent smaller than the previous year. Over the past 12 months this has forced wineries to draw down on stocks to maintain their place in the market. New Zealand wine sales for 2021 were 324 million litres, meaning they were 48 million litres more than was actually produced in the 2021 vintage. This stock drawdown highlights that we desperately need a bigger harvest in 2022, to replenish cellars and help satisfy international demand.”

“Over the past 12 months many New Zealand wineries have faced tough decisions over who they can supply in their key markets and the ongoing increase in international demand has placed huge strain on already depleted stocks. For some wineries, there has been quite simply just not enough wine to go around.”

He says continued demand for New Zealand wine around the globe is encouraging.

“ The ongoing demand has proven, once again, that the distinctive flavours, quality and sustainability of our New Zealand wines increasingly resonate with consumers around the world. It is positive to see that during these uncertain times, consumers continue to choose a premium product they know they can trust.”

Increasing production costs and the ongoing effects of COVID-19 on the border, markets and supply chains have continued to impact the industry and over the past 12 months the availability of labour has been a huge concern for many growers and wineries.

Philip says however the experience of operating harvest during COVID times 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 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.”