Wine of the Week Home

Wine Blog

Blog (2007-2012)

Tasting Notes

Food File



Old Stuff
WOTW archives
Vine Dining
Book Reviews
Wine Stories



Vinous Links

About NZ Wine

About this Site

Wine of the Week logo
Wine of the Week info
www.wineoftheweek.com
edited by Sue Courtney
e-mail address: winetaster@clear.net.nz

New Zealand 2006 Harvest - In Line With Expections
1 June 2006
NZ Winegrowers Report for Vintage 2006
by NZ Winegrowers

As international demand for New Zealand wine continues to climb, grape growers and wine makers have welcomed the 2006 grape harvest of 185,000 tonnes.

New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said the 2006 grape harvest is in line with expectations and has produced a high quality vintage.

"This is good news for the New Zealand wine industry as we have unfulfilled demand for our premium wine in most export markets," he said.

The vintage is a new record for the industry, up 11 per cent on the previous mark of 166,000 tonnes set in 2004, according to results from the New Zealand Winegrowers 2006 Vintage Survey. This growth is a result of the 18 per cent increase in producing vineyard area developed over the same timeframe. The 2005 vintage was down, at 142,000 tonnes, due to cool weather during the critical flowering period.

"Grape growers and wine makers are pleased with the vintage. The size and quality of the harvest is due to good summer and autumn weather which meant grapes were picked when they were at their best," said Gregan.

"Despite the increased harvest, demand continues to outstrip supply for quality New Zealand wine in our key markets such as the USA, UK and Australia. Increased wine volumes are however also needed to grow sales in new countries such as Ireland where sales are up 55 per cent this year."

"Sauvignon Blanc, our major export style, continues to grow in popularity as it is a good match with many of the foods and lifestyles of our customers around the globe."

Currently around 55 per cent of New Zealand’s production is exported and Gregan said the 2006 vintage will help lift exports from around 60 million litres in 2006 to over 75 million litres forecast for 2007.

Regional Production
Warm weather patterns meant most regions experienced an increase in production against the 2005 vintage. Marlborough continues to lead grape production at 113,000 tonnes, well over half (62 per cent) of the vintage, followed by Hawke’s Bay at 18 per cent, and Gisborne at 10 per cent of the harvest.

Together the three major regions make up 90 per cent of the vintage.

Production in the smaller regions totaled 18,000 tonnes, more than double the production in these areas in 2005 (7,780 tonnes), and is a record for these regions surpassing the previous record of 13,700 tonnes set in 2004.

Regional production changes compared with the 2004 and 2005 vintages were (tonnes):

                                                      %Change   %Change
                          2004      2005      2006     06/05     06/04
      Northland            144       183       208       14%       44% 
      Auckland           1,497       948     1,345       42%      -10%
      Waikato              457       210       261       24%      -43% 
      Gisborne          25,346    22,493    18,049      -20%      -29%
      Hawke's Bay       30,429    28,098    33,287       18%        9%
      Wairarapa          2,820     1,649     3,008       82%        7%
      Marlborough       92,581    81,034   113,436       40%       23%
      Nelson             4,563     2,454     5,623      129%       23% 
      Canterbury         2,825       895     3,051      241%        8%
      Otago              1,439     1,441     4,612      220%      221%
      TOTAL            166,000   142,000   185,000       31%       11%

Total includes estimate from wineries who did not respond to the survey

Varietal Production
In line with the overall trends the majority of varieties increased production in 2006 compared with the 2005 vintage.

Harvest of Pinot Noir, our second most exported style this year, increased by over 50 per cent, rebounding to expected levels with a larger harvest in central and southern regions. This is positive news as exports of Pinot Noir this year are growing at 56 per cent.

Other major varietals showing significant production increases were Sauvignon Blanc at 53 per cent, Riesling at 40 per cent, Pinot Gris at 121 per cent and Merlot at 22 per cent.

Compared with the 2004 and 2005, vintage changes in production for major varietals were (tonnes):

                                                      %Change   %Change
                          2004      2005      2006     06/05     06/04
      Chardonnay        35,597    29,741    26,944       -9%      -24%
      Sauvignon Blanc   67,773    63,297    96,686       53%       43%
      Riesling           5,647     4,792     6,745       41%       19%
      Semillon           3,511     2,388     2,664       12%      -24%
      Pinot Gris         1,888     1,655     3,675      122%       95%
      Cab. Sauvignon     4,045     3,018     2,659      -12%      -34%
      Pinot Noir        20,145    14,578    22,062       51%      -10%
      Merlot             9,330     9,194    11,206       22%      -20%

Previous Reports
2005 Harvest Report
2004 Harvest Report
2003 Harvest Report
2002 Harvest Report
More Wine News


[Top of Page] [Wine Stories Index] [Wine of the Week Home]

E-mail me: winetaster@clear.net.nz