Favourable weather conditions have resulted in a bumper harvest for New Zealand’s wine industry, a relief for many producers after two years of small yields.
Latest figures show the year’s harvest produced more than 500,000 tonnes of grapes, a 44% increase on last year.
The Wairarapa had a bumper year, up 71% on last year. Marlborough also remains the wine capital, producing 81% of the country’s wine and saw a harvest increase of 54%.
Andrew Brown of Framingham Wines in Marlborough says things have been good.
“Pretty happy with what we've got in the tank as well, definitely put a smile on the accountants faces.”
For many producers, although it was better than the last couple of years, the year wasn’t without its challenges, with Omicron peaking during harvest season and many wineries struggling to find staff.
Shipping pressures also remain an issue, and with much of the country’s wine being exported, there are concerns the international market will slow.
Marcus Pickens of Wine Marlborough says global economic conditions are slowing down which means there may be less discretionary spend on products like wine.
“Quite lucky the place we play in the international market, not bullet proof from recessions but we have a sweet spot that generally those people can shop, climb the ladder and buy New Zealand wine.”
Brown says an increase in production costs could also impact producers.
“The cost of our goods to bottle, like everything else in society at the moment, all of those costs are going up and they have to be passed on at some stage, so that's a bit of a challenge trying to communicate that with customers.”
At present, however, relief is rife among producers.
“We've delivered the volumes that the market wants, nice position to be in, we have enough to supply markets,” Pickens says.