New Zealands wine harvest reaches record in 2011

New Zealand's wine harvest reaches record in 2011

New Zealand's record wine harvest in 2011 has been described as "a relief" by the head of the country's industry trade body, despite previous concerns about a glut. 

New Zealand's wine grape harvest rose by 23% in 2011 to a record 328,000 tonnes, New Zealand Winegrowers said today (14 June).

The industry had expected a maximum vintage of 310,000 tonnes, with growers and wineries initially instructed to aim to collectively undershoot this figure due to fears about a wine surplus.

However, some industry officials have welcomed the higher-than-expected harvest as an opportunity for several wineries to "re-fill the empty tanks" following growing export sales. 

Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers, Stuart Smith, welcomed the increase "with some relief". Despite international talk of a surplus, he told just-drinks that the situation has changed considerably in the past six months. "2011 will allow us to have some wine to sell."

Of the 2011 harvest, Sauvignon Blanc increased by 29% to 225,000 tonnes, Pinot Noir by 32% to 32,000 tonnes and Pinot Gris by nearly 40% to 18,000 tonnes. Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah declined.