Our wine industry is praying for a bigger harvest this year to keep up with international demand. Winegrowers say the quality of the 2021 harvest was “exceptional” but it was nearly 20% smaller than the previous year, so wineries were forced to draw down on their stocks to keep their place in the market. New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan says New Zealand wine sales for 2021 were 324 million litres – 48 million litres more than was actually produced in 2021. But the ongoing increase in international demand has proven that the quality of the country’s wine is resonating with customers around the world. Philip Gregan says the outlook for the 2022 harvest is challenging with rising production costs, staff shortages, and supply chain disruptions. And he says those wineries that rely on on-premise sales continue have said farewell to their second summer without the usual influx of international tourists. Philip Gregan says more New Zealanders are visiting cellar doors, but there are long, lean periods now as the traditional Kiwi holiday period comes to an end.
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