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Despite the impact of COVID-19 on vineyard and winery processes, the quality of the 2020 vintage is nothing short of exceptional, according to the 2020 New Zealand Winegrowers Annual Report. 

“Our total 2020 harvest reflects the near perfect growing conditions experienced in most of the country, and a two percent increase in planted area to 39,935 hectares,” said New Zealand Winegrowers Board Chair John Clarke.

The excellent 2020 vintage will delight consumers around the world, as New Zealand wine exports continue to increase. In the year ended 30 June 2020, the New Zealand wine industry achieved record exports totalling $1.92 billion, a six percent increase on 2019.

“Our sustained export success, even during a global pandemic, reinforces our international reputation for premium, diverse and sustainable wines. This year’s vintage will help the industry to meet the high demand for New Zealand wine.”

Wineries have responded dynamically to the marketplace challenges presented by COVID-19. For some this has meant an increased focus on direct to consumer sales and online marketing, while larger wineries, whose focus is on big retail channels, have seen sales increase.

With the 2020 vintage now complete, the focus is on what 2021 will bring. “Looking forward it seems likely that New Zealand’s borders will be largely closed for the coming year. We are having to re-think parts of our workforce, and become more self-sufficient in terms of personnel. Producing New Zealand’s world class wines creates numerous career opportunities, and we aim to be an industry of choice. We are working to attract new workers to our sector to ensure we have the personnel in place to bring in the 2021 crop, and beyond”.

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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