The trade organisation for New Zealand wine has reported a smaller vintage compared with record levels in 2022, as bad weather hampered vineyards on the North Island.

New Zealand Winegrowers said this week that the harvest was down 6%, at 501,000 tonnes of grapes. However, the harvest was well up on 2021, which yielded 370,000 tonnes of grapes.

On the South Island, the 2023 vintage was described as “excellent overall”. However, unprecedented wet weather made the season tough for regions in the North Island, which was hit by a cyclone in February.  

Despite the challenges, the trade group said the 2023 vintage will support demand for New Zealand wine, with the total value of New Zealand wine industry exports (year to May 2023) up 25% on 2022, to $2.4 billion.

“Reaching another new record level of wine exports into some of the world’s largest and most competitive markets is an outstanding achievement for New Zealand wine exporters, and testifies to the increasingly strong global demand for our wines,” said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Gregan also hailed the return of international travel and wine tourism.