Outstanding summer produces best wine vintage yet

Grape harvesting has just been completed and the crop is up 28% on 2012 at 345,000 tonnes.

Winemakers say the long hot summer has produced one of the country’s best vintages yet.

Grape harvesting has just been completed and the crop is up 28% on 2012 at 345,000 tonnes.

New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan says the outstanding summer provided near perfect conditions for growing grapes nationwide.

"The result is that we expect the 2013 wines to be vibrant, fruit driven and complex expressions of our diverse grape growing regions," Mr Gregan says in a statement.

The small 2012 grape crop left the industry unable to meet continuing strong consumer demand in established and new markets.

“Winemakers will welcome the more normal 2013 harvest as the better balanced supply will facilitate renewed export growth in the year ahead," he says.

Of the key varieties, sauvignon blanc produced the biggest crop with 228,781 tonnes, up 26% on last year, followed by pinot noir with 23, 285 tonnes, up 36% on last year. 

Marlborough produced the biggest crop, with 251,680 tonnes harvested, up 33% on the last year. 

There is already been a record number of wine shipments made in May.

New Zealand wine is exported to more than 90 countries and annual wine exports are valued at $1.2 billion.

gbond@nbr.co.nz

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