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NZ harvest to break 200,000-tonne barrier

Published:  23 July, 2008

by Stuart Peskett
The 2007 harvest in New Zealand is on course to hit the 200,000 tonne mark, according to Warren Adamson, UK and European director of New Zealand WineGrowers.

The 2006 harvest came in at 184,000 tonnes, 18,000 tonnes higher than in 2004 (outbreaks of frost lowered the 2005 harvest to 142,000 tonnes), and early reports suggest that 2007 will come in 10% up on this year, thus breaking the 200,000-tonne mark.

Speaking at the New Release Tasting in London last Tuesday, Adamson told Harpers: '2006 was a return to good, sensible yields, lower than in 2004. We're seeing some really nice wines coming through, with good ripeness and acidity.'

In terms of varieties, production of Pinot Gris in 2006 was up 121% compared with 2005; Sauvignon Blanc increased by 53%; Pinot Noir was up 50%; Riesling rose by 40%; and Merlot was up 22%.

Despite these increases, Adamson said he does not believe this will bring down the average bottle price in the UK, and said that he believed the opening up of new markets would soak up any excess.

And despite the average UK price of New Zealand wine slipping to 5.92, Adamson was proud to announce that in the 6-7 category in the UK, New Zealand was growing by 17%, with a 15% overall market share, while between 8 and 9, it was increasing by 12%, with a 9% market share.