NZ wine exports reach record $1.3 billion30th April, 2014 by Lauren Eads
New Zealand wine exports exceeded NZ$1.3 billion for the first time in March rising 9.2% on last year, according to figures released by Statistics New Zealand.
2013 saw a winemakers harvest a record 345,000 tonnes of grapes, up significantly from the low 2012 harvest, with the 2014 vintage tipped by some local growers to be the best ever, as reported by The New Zealand Herald.
The value of wine exports in March 2014 rose by NZ$30 million, up 31% on March last year, with volumes up 30% led by sales of white wine with around 85% of New Zealand’s wine exports Sauvignon Blancs from the South Island’s Marlborough region.
Exports to the US rose by $20 million to $476 million, led by wine, while in the UK saw the value of its imports rise $56 million, to $212 million, led by wine and sheep meat.
Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive, said: “We expect further strong growth in the year ahead when the 2014 vintage wines are released.
“The very robust export performance over the past 12 months reflects the continued demand in key markets and increased availability of the wine from the 2013 vintage.”
Gisborne winemaker Steve Voysey, of Spade Oak Vineyard, said the region’s warm spring temperatures allowed for excellent flowering, while the cool nights and warm days towards the end of January improved ripening.
Voysey told the NZ Herald: “You know it’s a legendary vintage when every tank in the place is chocca. I’m just loving what I’m seeing being caressed into wine, the ferment bench is a delight to taste through.”