21 Apr 2021

Smaller grape harvest and rising costs to drive up prices of premium wines

12:04 pm on 21 April 2021

Winegrowers say a superb summer throughout much of the country means an excellent quality vintage, although the overall crop size is below average given the cooler spring and late frosts.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said reports indicated the quality of the harvest so far was exceptional.

"We are looking forward to some fantastic wines coming out of this year's vintage," Gregan said.

"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."

The industry was also facing cost pressures with ongoing labour shortages, borders closed to holiday makers and a restricted number of recognised seasonal workers, Gregan said.

Low inventories heading into the harvest was another cost pressure which could lead to higher export prices and shortages as well, he 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."

New Zealand exports wines to more than 100 countries, with the largest markets in Britain, United States and Australia.

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