The wine industry was in the fortunate position to be able to proceed with the harvest of the 2020 vintage despite lockdown restrictions within New Zealand. It was largely able to meet its labour needs with most staff already in the country prior to lockdown.
Figures from New Zealand Winegrowers show 457,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested nationally during vintage 2020, which is 11% higher than vintage 2019 and comes after three consecutive years of lower than expected yields within the industry.
Marlborough’s production accounted for 343,036 tonnes, up 12% on the previous vintage. The increase is mainly due to new plantings coming into production and higher than average yields from Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir varieties.
Excellent fruit quality has been reported throughout the region as a result of a long dry summer leading up to harvest. However, yields were down as a result of cool flower conditions.
The total area of vineyards in the Central Otago Region is 1,930 hectares or 5% of the national producing area. The average vineyard size in this region is 8.8 hectares with the main varieties grown being Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
Find out more about the impact of Covid-19 on sales and more detailed insight into the market in the Marlborough and Central Otago regions.