9 Jun 2015

Low dollar boosts wine sales

11:06 am on 9 June 2015

The lower New Zealand dollar is helping wine sales, the lobby group for wine producers says.

Glasses of wine

Photo: AFP

The 2015 grape harvest dropped 27 percent to 326,000 tonnes compared with the previous year's record vintage, due to cool spring weather

But New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said a great summer lifted the quality.

Wine exports were worth $1.2 billion a year, and were the country's sixth biggest export good.

"Certainly we're seeing in some key markets - the US and Canada - are performing very well for our wines, and that's being helped by the lower exchange rate," he said.

"We're also seeing a solid performance from our traditional markets, Australia and the UK."

Mr Gregan said while the crop was smaller, he expected export volumes to match current levels.

"Wineries will support the smaller vintage by drawing down on their pre-existing stocks."

Mr Gregan said some wineries could take the chance to push up prices due to the smaller harvest.