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‘Significantly smaller’ NZ 2021 vintage creating supply tension

The “significantly smaller” 2021 vintage in New Zealand is already creating supply tension at export, according to the CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

While the final numbers have yet to be confirmed, the reduced 2021 harvest has largely been caused by late spring frosts and cooler than usual spring weather.

“There will be some variability across different parts of the country, but the industry is anticipating a significantly smaller vintage across several New Zealand wine regions this year.

“We have seen unprecedented demand for New Zealand wine in our key export markets over the past 12 months. This meant industry stocks were at low levels going into vintage, a situation that has now been compounded by the smaller harvest,” New Zealand Winegrowers’ CEO, Philip Gregan, said.

“We are already seeing supply and demand tension as a result, and we expect that many wineries will face tough decisions on who they can supply in their key markets over the next year,” he added.

While there may not be much Kiwi wine to go round, what was bottled this year is said to be of “excellent” quality.

“All reports indicate the quality of the harvest so far is exceptional, and we are looking forward to some fantastic wines coming out of this year’s vintage,” Gregan said.

The small 2021 vintage comes at a time when the New Zealand wine industry is facing increased production costs.

Ongoing labour shortages, due to the closure of New Zealand’s borders and restricted number of RSE workers, have added to the problem. Global demand for NZ wine remains strong in key export markets, including the UK, US and Australia.

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