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New Zealand 2002 Harvest - Preliminary Report
3 July 2002
© Sue Courtney

With a return to normal yields, an increase in the production area and favourable weather conditions, the New Zealand 2002 wine grape harvest has reached a record 118,700 tonnes, exceeding the previous high of 2 years ago by 67%. The average yield is estimated to be 9.0 tonnes per hectare compared with the record low of 6.1 tonnes per hectare last year. Consequently, rather than allocating wines to the customer, the industry can work towards meeting market needs.

The comparison of tonnes produced in 2001 and 2002 is shown in these tables.

In the varietal summary, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay together account for just over 60% of the total crop.

                      2001         2002        % Change 
Sauvignon Blanc     20,826       36,742         +  76%
Chardonnay          17,067       33,883         +  99%
Pinot Noir           8,015       10,402         +  30%
Merlot               2,573        6,502         + 153%
Cabernet Sauvignon   2,782        4,375         +  57%
Riesling             4,377        5,038         +  15%
Muller Thurgau       4,231        4,806         +  14%
Semillon             1,887        3,053         +  62%

In the regional summary The Marlborough harvest comprised 47% of the vintage and together with Hawkes Bay and Gisborne these regions represented 91.5% of the harvest. The largest producing of the smaller regions in 2002 was the Wellington/Wairarapa region, replacing Nelson who was 4th producing region in 2001.

                      2001         2002        % Change
Northland               84          186         + 122%
Auckland               614        1,526         + 148%
Waikato                411          932         + 127%
Gisborne            12,936       26,587         + 106%
Hawkes Bay          10,887       25,661         + 136%
Wellington           1,457        2,022         +  39%
Marlborough         36,962       54,496         +  47%
Nelson               2,313        1,785         -  23%
Canterbury           1,779        1,972         +  11%
Otago                1,543        1,519         -   2%

Central Otago Harvest Production up on NZ Winegrowers figures
A telephone survey of the Central Otago winegrowers by Central Otago Winegrowers president, Steve Green, indicated that about 1635 tonnes of grapes were processed during vintage, a small increase of only 45 tonnes over 2001.

"Although a number of vineyards were coming into production for the first time, a low bunch weight and a mixed fruit set contributed to a below average yield", wrote Mr Green in 'grape press' the newsletter of the Central Otago Winegrowers Association.

Red varieties accounted to 52% of the vintage. The significant new plantings of pinot noir are yet to have an impact on production. Predictions for 2003 suggest about 2400 tonnes, weather permitting.

Mr Green said he would be speaking to the national association about the differing results.

Updated Wine Industry Stats for 2002

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