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New Zealand wine harvest up 39%

Published:  30 November, 1999

The 2008 New Zealand grape harvest is up 39% on the previous year, new figures show.

Data from the New Zealand Winegrowers showed 285,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in 2008, according to Winegrowers' 2008 Vintage Survey.

The increase is due to a combination of an increased producing area and favourable growing conditions in most regions over the summer months, which bodes well for the new season's wines.

Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers CEO, said: "The harvest is larger than forecast pre-vintage as a result of the favourable growing season.

"This reflects the upside of agricultural risk in our industry which in recent years has often worked against us with spring frosts or cool weather during the critical flowering period."

Regionally, Marlborough produced 195,000 tonnes of grapes in 2008, up 61% from 121,000 tonnes in 2007. However, Gisborne and Hawke's Bay regions were down 8% and 18% respectively, due to a combination of frosts and cooler weather at flowering.

Other regional increases included Central Otago up 177%, Wairarapa up 111%, Waipara up 304%, Canterbury up 304% and Nelson up 35%.