26 Aug 2011

Positive mood at wine industry conference

5:39 am on 26 August 2011

Delegates at the Romeo Bragato wine industry conference in Auckland see a positive mood at the gathering as a sign of the industry's recovery from a downturn during the world recession.

The latest annual report from New Zealand Winegrowers shows the industry is climbing out of a downturn over the past two years, with a 5% increase in wine export earnings and an 11% increase in sales.

The results come after the industry has been struggling with a production glut and price slumps that forced some vineyards out of business.

Mission Estate viticulturist Caine Thompson says it's a marked contrast to the mood in 2008 when a lot of people were frustrated.

He says at that point the industry had been growing at a rapid rate, people were drinking less and cheaper wine because of the global financial crisis and there were record supply numbers which started putting pressure on supply and demand.

But Mr Thompson says now New Zealand markets are starting to strengthen in terms of domestic production and international market demand is also increasing.