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According to the experts, New Zealand’s 2021 grape harvest shows a smaller volume than last year.
New Zealand winegrowers harvested 19% fewer grapes than last year. And although the harvest in 2021 is smaller than expected, its quality is described as “exceptional” in all wine regions of the country.
Regions in the central part of the country were hit hardest – in Wairarapa, Marlborough, Nelson and North Canterbury, the volume of harvested grapes decreased by more than 20% compared to 2020. For example, Marlborough growers have already stated that this year they will not be able to meet the global demand for Sauvignon Blanc, because 2021 recorded one of the lowest harvests in the last 10 years.
The situation is quite different in Central Otago where Pinot Noir is mainly grown. This region was the only one in New Zealand to increase the harvest by 21% compared to last year.
The crop decline in 2021 is due to cooler spring weather and late frosts in some regions. In addition, New Zealand wine industry is currently facing a persistent labor shortage and the need to increase production costs.
Given the challenges posed by Covid-19, New Zealand’s wine industry is opposed to a planned increase in excise taxes on wine, which will lead to tax increases from July 1. Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers, is confident that this innovation will have a negative impact on many small wineries that operate only on the domestic market. “They have already been hit hard by the lack of foreign tourists during the pandemic and the difficulties caused by the lockdown in the hospitality sector. It would be wrong to add another tax increase to these problems,” says Gregan.