7 Nov 2012

Central Otago grapes hit by frost

9:44 pm on 7 November 2012

The wine industry in Central Otago estimates it lost a tenth of its crops due to severe frosts at the weekend.

The South Island region largely produces pinot noir.

Growers say the full extent of the damage will not be known until December, but some vineyards lost up to half their grapes when the temperatures at the weekend plummeted to minus 3 or 4 degrees Celsius.

It is estimated 10% to 12% of the total crop was lost.

The Central Otago Winegrowers Association believes a scarcity of grapes will mean cheaper varieties of pinot noir will not be produced in 2013 and prices of other labels will rise.

Helicopters were also used to combat frost in Marlborough on Tuesday night, but there are no reports yet of whether there was any damage to grapes.