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NZ: Wine harvest 2006 set to break records

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This year's wine harvest is expected to be New Zealand's largest, according to a trade body.

The New Zealand Winegrowers said today (27 February) that the 2006 vintage, which has just begun, would be harvested from a record producing grape area of over 22,000 hectares, an increase of 1,000 hectares on last year.

"Expectations for the vintage are upbeat," said New Zealand Winegrowers' chief executive, Philip Gregan. "While grape yields appear to be about average or slightly below, the harvest is earlier than 'normal' in many regions reflecting the generally warm weather that has prevailed in January and February."

"Our current expectation is for a vintage of between 165,000 and 185,000 tonnes of grapes," Gregan added. "This will be a new record for the industry, up from the 142,000 tonnes harvested in 2005 and the previous record of 165,000 tonnes in 2004.

"The increased crop will be welcome as many leading producers are now short of wine following the smaller-than-expected vintage in 2005 and a strong sales performance in the past year. However, despite the increased production we expect there will still be shortages of some varieties and styles in the year ahead."


Sectors: Wine

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