Strong 2016 vintage confirms positive outlook for NZ wine
As demand for New Zealand wine continues to grow in the key markets of the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia, the
industry is rising to the challenge. That’s according to Alistair King, Crowe Horwath’s viticulture specialist, who says
the outlook is positive, particularly with a plentiful grape harvest for the 2016 vintage.
“The wine industry is targeting a goal of export earnings of $2-billion by 2020; after a poor vintage in terms of volume
for 2015 where just 312,000 tonnes of grapes came in, this year is looking considerably better,” he says.
King believes progress towards the goal is on track, particularly with the 412,000 ton harvest this year. “Right now,
exports are sitting around $1.56-billion. The bigger harvest – an increase of 34 per cent - should take the 2016 vintage
to around the $1.7-billion mark by the end of 2017,” he notes.
Tipping his hat to the efforts of the marketers at industry body NZ Winegrowers, King says international thirst for New
Zealand wine, produced in regions the length and breadth of the country, is such that it would now be very unlikely for
supply to exceed demand. “While wine is one of our top exports, it only accounts for around one per cent of the global
industry. There is good strong growth for our product particularly in the United States, but also in the key markets of
the United Kingdom and Australia.”
However, a limiting factor is that the cost of production locally is high, putting the finished product in the highly
competitive premium sector. “Of course, more favourable exchange rates, particularly against the US dollar, would add
some impetus. Right now, it is around the 70c mark; the mid-60 point would help things somewhat.”