Monday, 03 June 2024 13:25

Editorial: Vintage Perspectives

Written by  Sophie Preece

OPINION: In this edition we check out vintage perspectives from around New Zealand, with many reporting lighter than typical yields in a delightfully disease-free harvest.

Dry, warm days meant some walked an irrigation tightrope, but sidesteppe the pressure to pick that can come with poor weather and heightened disease risk. There's plenty of talk of extraordinary wines, but also of the financial pressure that comes with a light harvest, as the cost of production soars against a backdrop of high interest rates.

"Things are getting tight out there," Geoff Wright says from Gisborne, where Cyclone Gabrielle hit the 2023 harvest hard and 2024 yields are significantly down. The region needs a harvest with good weather and good yields, "and consumers drinking a bit more New Zealand wine too".

WK Advisors and Accountants Director Hamish Morrow notes that given the flattening out of demand since the Covid-19 years, when New Zealand wine performed very well, the lower than average yields in Marlborough are relatively useful. "At a Macro industry level having a lower yielding year is likely preferential to a high yielding year if the market demand is not there."

As well as views on this year's harvest, this edition takes a look at news coming from the wine regions, from a 50-year Kumeu River work anniversary for Nigel Tibbits, to a new Craggy Range worker village in Wairarapa, to drone spraying at Nelson's Abel, to the updates, the focus feature provides a taster. There's plenty of news on the horizon too, with Grape Days and WinePro coming up, as well as the two-day New Zealand Wine, Altogether Unique programme, a celebration of our wine people, and an exploration of wine research, innovation, and business. 

It's a great line up for an industry that seems ever-eager to leap challenges and embrace opportunities.

Sophie Preece


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