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Global demand grows for New Zealand wine

The New Zealand wine industry reveals it “desperately” needs a bigger harvest this year to keep up with international demand.

Winegrowers told RNZ, that last year, they were forced to deplete their stocks to hold their position in the market.

In fact, despite the quality of the 2021 harvest being exceptional” it was 19% smaller than the previous year.

New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said: “New Zealand wine sales for 2021 were 324 million litres, meaning they were 48 million litres more than was actually produced in the 2021 vintages.”

Gregan explained: “This stock drawdown highlights that we desperately need a bigger harvest in 2022, to replenish cellars, and help satisfy international demand.”

However, the ongoing increase in international demand had proven that the quality of the country’s wines were resonating with customers around the world. Amidst all of this, the outlook for the 2022 harvest has reportedly been challenging as wineries managed rising production costs, staff shortages, and supply chain disruptions.

Gregan added: “The unavailability of skilled workers due to the ongoing closure of New Zealand’s borders means undoubtedly this vintage will be more difficult to manage than normal.”

Meanwhile, Gregan highlighted how the wineries that relied upon on-trade sales continued to face setbacks as there had not been an influx of international tourists for two summers. He noted: “Positively, we have seen more New Zealanders visiting cellar doors, but there are long, lean periods as we move out of the traditional Kiwi holiday period.”

New Zealand correctly exports wines to over 100 countries, with the largest markets in the UK, US and Australia.

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