It was a great year to be a winemaker in New Zealand.
The country harvested 441,000 tons of grapes this year, 55,000 tons more than any other harvest year on record.
“Very favourable weather in Both Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay during 20013/2014 resulted in 20 and 16 percent increases in average yields respectively,” New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries said in their 2014 summary report.
The country’s Marlborough region reported excellent weather in February and March. Dry climate led to high crop levels, which in turn led to increased time between veraison to harvest for Sauvignon Blanc.
Rain hit the region hard in April. “The total April rainfall was 146 millimeters, nearly three times the long-term average,” the report stated. Despite the heavy rainfall, “a large part of the regional crop was safely harvested.” The report went on to say that a relatively small proportion of the 2014 crop was affected by the rain.
“Reports from winemakers are that the 2014 vintage is expected to produce excellent quality wines,” the study said. Marlborough produced 14.6 tonnes per hectare, up from 12.2 tonnes the previous year. The region also saw an increase of nearly 25 percent in dollars per producing hectare.
New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay region experienced good weather as well this year. Rainfall at the beginning of the year was about 30 percent lower than historical averages. Harvest began a week early and there was a notable absence of Botrytis. Like Marlborough, showers swept through the area in April but a majority of the region’s grapes were already in or were picked in the rain.
“Winemakers spoken to reported that the 2014 vintage produced superb Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah wines and promises to be a close match for the outstanding 2013 vintage,” the study stated.
Hawke’s Bays yield was 9.6 tonnes per hectare, an increase from the previous year’s 8.2 tonnes per hectare.
Source: Snooth – Articles