Demand And Supply

New Zealand wines continue to excite, but winemakers face a grape shortage

Demand And Supply
Cloudy Bay winery is one of New Zealand’s most popular brands in the U.S. for its high quality Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. (Courtesy of Cloudy Bay)
From the Oct 31, 2021, issue

New Zealand is well-known as a source for distinctive Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, dependably high in quality and overdelivering for the price, and American consumers keep cracking open more bottles. But in the 2021 vintage, the size of the harvest was down 19% compared to 2020—that's about seven or eight million cases less of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. ⁠

With demand remaining high, increased production costs and a labor shortage, consumers may have to start shelling out a few extra dollars more for wines they normally see for less than $20 a bottle—a price correction that Wine Spectator senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec says is long overdue. Still, right now there are plenty of great wines on the market from 2020 and earlier vintages. Get her analysis of the situation, plus her recommended top wines and best values.

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