Experts say warm summer contributed to superb vintage for New Zealand wine

There are some pictures (or vistas) that need no explanation. They immediately bring with them a sense of serenity. Maybe they don't offer answers to all of life's questions. They may not help bring peace to an otherwise tumultuous year. Perhaps they don't even absolve you of all the worries tomorrow will bring. But, for a brief moment, it's possible to bask in the atmosphere and the moment. If nothing else, take comfort knowing that from these soon to be grapes, great wine will one day emerge. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

A warm summer has contributed to a superb vintage for New Zealand’s wine regions, with 413,000 tonnes of grapes harvested during Vintage 2019, experts said earlier this year.

Although smaller than anticipated, experts are touting the quality of the harvest on both islands as exceptional.

New Zealand Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan says a high-quality harvest is a positive storyline for the industry as export growth continues, with an increase of 4 percent to $1.78 billion over the last year.

“We have an international reputation for premium quality and innovation,” Gregan said in a news release. “Every vintage is different, but winemakers are excited about the (caliber) of wine that will be delivered to the bottle and we are confident 2019 vintage wines will be enjoyed by consumers around the world.”

However, Vintage 2019 is the third smaller-than-expected harvest in a row, so volume growth is expected to be constrained.

“Smaller vintages in 2017 and 2018 meant wineries had to work to manage product shortages, and many of our members hoped for a larger harvest this year. Another smaller-than-expected vintage will mean more supply and demand tension overall,” Gregan said.

Wine is New Zealand’s sixth-largest export good, and New Zealand wine is exported to more than 100 countries, officials said.

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