Hawke’s Bay wine production drops in 2017

Wine production in New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay has suffered losses due to incessant rains in March, bringing down its total production from 2016’s 42,000 tonnes to 33,000 tonnes in 2017.

Hawke’s Bay Winemakers Association chairman Michael Henley (Photo credit: New Zealand Herald)

The news was revealed recently by Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers Association chairman, Michael Henley, when speaking to New Zealand Herald.

According to the newspaper, the heavy rainfall during the harvest in March created some lower than normal volumes for growers.

Despite being a challenge, the 2017 vintage is still “much stronger” than 2011 and 2012, said Henley, adding that it has the potential to produce some “outstanding” wines that could rival great vintages of 2013 and 2016.

Chardonnay is said to be unaffected because it had been picked before the rains hit. Cabernet Sauvignon is another grape that was spared from the heavy rain thanks to its thick skins, and the region’s overall good drainage.

“It is still a wait and see thing because they are still youthful and in the barrels, but there will be some fine wines come out of this vintage,” he added.

This year, globally wine production has suffered due to a string of natural disasters including frosts and hails in Europe, which is faced with its lowest wine production since WWII.

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