Stellar 2013 harvest puts NZ back on track

New Zealand Winegrowers has hailed 2013 as “one of the best vintages in history,” with producers also welcoming a crop 28% bigger than in 2012.

New ZealandHighlighting “near perfect conditions” across the country, Philip Gregan, chief executive officer of New Zealand Winegrowers, reported: “The result is that we expect the 2013 wines to be vibrant, fruit driven and complex expressions of our diverse grape growing regions.”

This influx of both quality and quantity will help the country bolster supplies after the small 2012 harvest. Growing demand from export markets saw New Zealand make a “record number” of wine shipments in May.

“The small 2012 grape crop left the industry unable to meet continuing strong consumer demand in established and new markets,” remarked Gregan. “Winemakers will welcome the more normal 2013 harvest as the better balanced supply will facilitate renewed export growth in the year ahead”

As initial reports of the bumper harvest began to emerge earlier this year, New Zealand Winegrowers was quick to calm concerns that the country could be about to experience a wine glut of the sort that did so much to devalue its high quality image after the large 2008 harvest.

With its annual wine exports currently valued at NZ$1.2 billion (£608.4 million), New Zealand’s largest market by volume remains the UK, although Australia is bigger by value, thanks to its strong currency. Exports to China last year saw especially strong growth of 50% to reach $25m as a result of a free trade agreement between the countries.

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