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Vintage 2004 Update: Harvest On Track

16 April 2004

Vintage 2004 Update: Harvest On Track

In a mid-vintage update, New Zealand Winegrowers has reiterated its pre-vintage announcement that the wine industry is on track for a record grape crop in 2004.

Reporting on progress to date, Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers said “The vintage has now been underway for nearly two months. March weather was favourable, and was marked by lower than average rainfall in many areas. This weather has continued into April, providing good conditions for ripening and flavour development.”

“Reports so far confirm our pre-vintage view that the harvest will be a record. Pre-vintage we announced our expectation for a vintage of between 150,000 and 170,000 tonnes, and this still remains our view on the size of the crop” said Mr Gregan.

Harvesting has now commenced in all areas but is most progressed in northern regions such as Auckland and Gisborne. Harvesting of the important Chardonnay crops in Gisborne and Hawkes Bay is largely complete, while much of the Merlot crop has also been picked in Hawkes Bay. The Sauvignon Blanc harvest has commenced in Marlborough, and the Pinot Noir harvest is now underway in areas such as Central Otago and the Wairarapa. At this stage, approaching 60% of the total crop has been harvested.

Mr Gregan stressed the importance of the weather over the next month for the final outcome of the vintage. “The weather forecast for the next few days is very encouraging. With a significant volume of grapes still to be harvested, continuation of the forecast warm, dry days and cool nights over the next few weeks will provide a very positive end to the harvest” concluded Mr Gregan.

ENDS

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