Marlborough starts latest and possibly last wave of vine planting
Following a freeze on vineyard expansion since the times of over supply in 2008, wine growers in New Zealand's South Island are starting to plant vines again. According to Jeff Clarke, chief winemaker a Winegrowers of Ara, nurseries have seen increased demand for young vines. In Marlborough around 23,000 hectares of the total vineyard area are planted with vines leaving a potential 10,000 hectares for new plantings. But Jeff believes only 5,000 hectares will be utilised in the near future. He says water and the climate will limit expansion and new vines will have to be on the hillsides of the region - all the flat land is fully planted. This means quite an investment that only the bigger producers will be able to afford.
The 2013 vintage is New Zealand’s largest harvest on record, yielding around 345,000 tonnes of grapes, which was up 28% on 2012.