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Jun 18, 2012

 - April weather a turning point for Vintage 2012
 - Harvest totals 269,000 tonnes, down 18% on 2011
 - Focus on value growth in the year ahead

The 2012 New Zealand grape harvest has been completed in line with expectations for a smaller crop than the record 2011 vintage. 

‘Following a cool spring and summer the expectation amongst growers and wineries was that the 2012 grape harvest would be smaller than last year. This view was supported by anecdotal reports during the vintage and has now been confirmed by our 2012 Vintage Survey’ said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

According to the Survey 269,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in New Zealand in 2012, down 18% from the record 2011 harvest of 328,000 tonnes.

‘The 2012 vintage is very similar in size to 2010, but given sales growth in the past two years, the reduced crop will introduce a new tension to the sectors’ supply demand balance. As a result it is very clear focus in the next year will be on value rather than volume growth’. 

Mr Gregan said that while the earlier spring and summer was cool, April was the critical turning point for the vintage. ‘Going into harvest the concern amongst growers and wineries was whether autumn would deliver the weather the grapes needed to ripen fully. Fortunately in most of our growing regions April saw excellent vintage conditions with many warm dry days and cool nights. The result is that we expect there will be plenty of vintage highlights for consumers to savour and enjoy, albeit in smaller volume than 2011.’