Wine exports for the year to May were worth $2.4 billion, up 25% on last year. Chief executive of New Zealand Winegrowers Philip Gregan says given the extreme weather challenges that growers, particularly in the North Island, this is a feel good story for the industry with $800 million in sales to the US alone. Export volumes increased 20%, with about 501,000 tonnes of grapes harvested in this year’s vintage, down 6% on the record level of the vintage last year. Philip Gregan says up to an estimated 20,000 tonnes of grapes were lost across the North Island and while there was a whole lot of crop loss, it was from a big base.