Savvy results

by Michael Cooper / 07 February, 2013
Sauvignon blanc rules, according to the latest vineyard survey.
Harvesting sauvignon blanc grapes
Harvesting sauvignon blanc grapes, photo/Lynda Feringa.


Which of these popular white-wine varieties is more widely planted: pinot gris or chardonnay? The New Zealand Winegrowers Vineyard Register Report 2012, released recently, contains some unexpected results.

If you answered chardonnay, take a bow. Despite the climb to fashion of pinot gris over the past decade, New Zealand still produces more chardonnay, which covers over 9% of the national vineyard, than pinot gris (6.9%).

The new survey is “the most accurate information on New Zealand vineyards to have been reported in the last decade”, according to NZ Winegrowers. After a poor response to the 2011 survey, the organisation cracked the whip, making registration mandatory for all growers
who wished to participate in NZ Winegrowers’ events and its Sustainable Winegrowing programme.

The survey reveals that New Zealand’s 1841 vineyards – which supply grapes to more than 700 wine producers – covered 34,269ha in 2012. The producing area will rise by just 683ha between 2012 and 2015, but new plantings are planned. Confidence is returning to the industry after the glut of 2008-11; vineyard expansion is under way.

Two regions dominate. A whopping 66% of the national vineyard area is clustered in Marlborough, far ahead of Hawke’s Bay (14%). Otago (5%) also enjoys a podium finish, snatching third place from Gisborne (where a quarter of the vines have been uprooted since 2009).

Canterbury’s vineyard area has also plummeted since 2009 – at least according to the statistics. A bold claim that Waipara, in North Canterbury, is the country’s fastest-growing wine region is now revealed to have been based on an “unquantifiable error in the data”.

So, what’s hot, in terms of varieties? Sauvignon blanc rules, with 58% of the national vineyard, followed by pinot noir (15%), chardonnay, pinot gris and merlot. Riesling, syrah, gewürztraminer, cabernet sauvignon and viognier also rank in the top 10, but together account for barely 5%.

Gruner veltliner, an internationally voguish variety from Austria, now arousing interest here, covers just 31ha. Remember muller-thurgau? From over 1800ha in the early 1980s, this once hugely popular grape is down to 2ha and on the brink of extinction.

WINE OF THE WEEK


Dog Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Enticingly scented, with strikingly intense, ripe fruit flavours and a crisp, dry, lasting finish. Not cheap, but great value. $24.50 (5/5)
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Hardcore exercise could be harming your sex drive
71590 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Health

Hardcore exercise could be harming your sex drive

by Nicky Pellegrino

According to new research, pushing your exercising to the limits can have dire consequences for health, libido and fertility.

Read more
The power of an electric cargo bike in Auckland
71804 2017-04-29 00:00:00Z Urbanism

The power of an electric cargo bike in Auckland

by Paperboy

"It’s a way back to the freedom of youth, when kicking around on a bike with friends was one of life’s great joys."

Read more
Politicians aren’t talking to us this election year, but to Winston Peters
71902 2017-04-28 14:08:09Z Politics

Politicians aren’t talking to us this election yea…

by Jane Clifton

We don't want any David Cunliffe cod-bogan attempts to get down with the peeps, but MPs seem to be going way too far in the other direction this year.

Read more
9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welfare' is morally bankrupt
71856 2017-04-28 09:53:00Z Politics

9th Floor: Jenny Shipley on how 'middle class welf…

by Guyon Espiner

Dame Jenny Shipley on being the first woman Prime Minister, plus coups and coalitions, welfare reform and Winston Peters.

Read more
Win a double pass to exclusive screening of McLaren
71854 2017-04-28 09:39:24Z Win

Win a double pass to exclusive screening of McLare…

by The Listener

McLaren is the definitive tale of New Zealander Bruce McLaren, who created a motor racing empire from his shed.

Read more
Win a double pass to Doc Edge Festival
71847 2017-04-28 09:30:01Z Win

Win a double pass to Doc Edge Festival

by The Listener

Doc Edge Festival is one of Australasia’s premier international documentary film festivals.

Read more
First look: Poké Poké
Health Minister dismisses chocolate fundraiser ban
71842 2017-04-28 09:07:08Z Nutrition

Health Minister dismisses chocolate fundraiser ban…

by RNZ

Should schools be selling chocolate to raise funds? The Health Minister says it's ok, but nutrition experts disagree.

Read more