Though Covid-19 lockdown measures presented challenges for the Kiwi wine industry, New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW) has deemed the country’s 2020 vintage ‘outstanding’
The harvest produced 457,000 tonnes of grapes, a lower yield than anticipated, but it is expected to produce ‘exceptional’ wines.
This quality comes as a relief after the difficulties of harvesting in lockdown. The New Zealand government announced the implementation of alert level four measures just as the harvest began, and while the wine industry was allowed to operate as an essential business, vineyard workers had to adapt to restrictions.
‘Throughout the entire lockdown our number one priority remained – ensuring the safety of our people and our communities,’ said Philip Gregan, NZW CEO. ‘The fact that harvest was completed safely, testifies to how our industry fully embraced the challenges to meet the strict Covid-19 requirements.’
The 2020 harvest assessment comes just days after the announcement that New Zealand and the UK are beginning negotiations for a new trade agreement, which NZW welcomed as ‘a great opportunity for both countries’.