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Hot summer bears fruit for wine industry

Monday 4 Feb 2013 8:47 a.m.

With the New Zealand sunshine set to continue through to late summer it's looking positive for a great 2013 wine vintage.

Speaking to Firstline this morning wine grower Joanne Gear says the hot and dry weather is a good thing for wine growing and means growers can ripen more grapes.

“When it’s a cold vintage in New Zealand growers often have to drop crop on the ground, which is pretty disheartening and it means less of it, but this year we had warm weather in really crucial times, flowering fruit set, we have more fruit this year – it’s a good thing.

“New Zealand is a cool climate in terms of global viticulture so we need warm weather to ripen a good crop.”

Ms Gear says wine prices are set to rise.

"Vintage 13 has come off the back of vintage 12, [and] vintage 12 was really low in terms of yield, we had a cold season, a cold summer, we didn’t ripen as much fruit as we would normally. 2008 was when everything came into what we consider excess, 2008 was a really big year, we had more fruit than we as an industry expected, and from there as an industry we have just been coping with that excess, trying to find new markets…which has meant that the price for grapes has gone down since 2008. And we’ve coped with this excess by finding new markets [and] suddenly we need to supply those new markets and we didn’t get the fruit out of 2012 to do that, so the grape prices goes up [and] you’d imagine that the wine prices will too.”

Ms Gear says it has been a tough time for growers in recent years.

“Not only did the price come back but as an industry we had to limit the volume so we limited growers on what they could yield from their vineyard, so it was a very difficult time and you can’t blame them going into 2013, they’re in a better position than they were the last couple of years.”

Watch the video to see the full interview.

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