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Central Otago production stable

Central Otago's total vineyard area and production has stabilised at of around 2,000 hectares with Pinot Noir production being 77% of the total tonnage.

Wine production from Central Otago cannot significantly increase until at least 2020 because of the lag time between planting and wine reaching the market. For Pinot Noir grape production, the time between planting and harvest is three to five years and then another one to two years before the wine is ready for release to consumers. The total lag time is therefore five to seven years.

Realistically, we are not likely see any significant change in Central Otago Pinot Noir supply from new plantings before 2025.

The implications of this are unclear but already we are seeing the supply of grapes for sale tightening up and a lift in grape prices. We have also seen locally owned family wineries and multinational corporates expand by purchasing established vineyards.

This period of stability will also help consumers identify the best vineyards and labels they can rely on to consistently deliver quality year after year.

Statistics sourced from NZ Winegrowers - 2015 Ha is estimated
Total tonnes and hectares Central Otago
Total tonnes and hectares Central Otago

Relative percentages of top four varieties
Relative percentages of top four varieties