New Zealand Vintage Chart: 2000 to 2023


An especially volatile La Niña year, with devastating rain and storms on the North Island (especially Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Northland. The South Island, by contrast, came through relatively unscathed. Marlborough especially shone: while yields were down due mainly to poor fruit set, the resulting loose bunches were better able to handle the humidity and resist disease. See the 2023 vintage report by Sophie Parker-Thompson MW for full details.


After three El Niño years, 2021 marks a return to La Niña patterns, with cool spring conditions and a summer made challenging by lots of rain and disease pressure. Yields were up, with a reported harvest of 532,000 tonnes, up from 370,000 tonnes in 2021.


Warm winter temperatures brought on an early budburst in most regions, and inclement weather at flowering brought yields down. Combined with a dry summer (the third year of drought conditions), the harvest was generally small but high quality, with concentrated fruit. Full details here.


Despite COVID-19 complications (read a first-hand experience from Rob MacCulloch MW here), the vintage was largely smooth and positive, save for in Central Otago, which experienced its coolest growing season on record. Total reported harvest was 457,000 tonnes.


A third successive small vintage may result in higher prices, but the quality is universally lauded, with many producers of the opinion that 2019 was their best-ever vintage. Marlborough enjoyed perfect natural balance in the vineyard, leading to modest alcohols and bright acidity, as well as strong varietal expression across the board.


A difficult vintage, especially in Marlborough where rain caused widespread rot at harvest time. Acid levels are generally a bit lower than average and the best 2018s will be in spite of the weather rather than because of it. But the warm summer resulted in more generous yields than 2017’s small crop, especially for red wine varieties.


Wetter, cooler conditions than usual made for a late harvest with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc expected to be perhaps more restrained than the norm. Volume was 9% lower than in 2016.


A welcome increase of volume produced after the small 2015 vintage. Martinborough had excellent weather conditions throughout the year, and is likely to fare better than Central Otago. In Marlborough, larger than average berry size is expected to emphasise thiols (passionfruit flavours) over methoxypyrazines (herbal flavours).


Marlborough enjoyed a very dry summer, resulting in wines with greater concentration than 2014 and yields were down 20-25%. Central Otago enjoyed plenty of ripeness in the Pinot Noir.


A generally good vintage across the country, with particular excitement in Hawke’s Bay where 2014 is thought of as potentially even better than the outstanding 2013. The country’s viticultural engine room Marlborough had its largest ever vintage, with quality touted as above-average.


Slightly riper than 2012 in Marlborough, and 'nigh-on perfect' in much of the north island, especially Hawke's Bay, with a long, warm summer and no adverse weather – although early frosts did bring down yields for many.


One of the coolest years on record, and an overall yield 18% below the norm. This resulted in Sauvignon Blancs with grass and citrus flavours instead of tropical fruit.


A warm and wet season caused problems across the country. Fungal infection meant that quality was compromised, especially at the lower end of the market. The warm conditions resulted in a short ripening period, meaning that flavour development was hurried, and complexity was therefore limited.


Only produced 75% of average yields, but a very easy vintage otherwise. Sauvignon Blanc experienced particular concentration, while Pinot Noir was praised for its perfume and firm structure.


Good quality throughout New Zealand, with dry conditions making for lovely, healthy, naturally balanced wines. Reds from Martinborough and Hawke's Bay were especially noteworthy.


A lot of rot in Marlborough, meaning careful selection was required to make good Sauvignon Blanc. Not a distinguished vintage.


Unkind to Martinborough, which suffered frost damage, but was welcomed across every other region as being good if not outstanding quality. For a much more detailed report of 2007 in New Zealand, click here.


Good Sauvignon Blanc, but was more notable for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah based wines that benefited from the warm and dry weather.


A small crop, producing wine with much greater concentration than normal.


High yields of good quality fruit across most regions – with the exception of Central Otago, which suffered decimating frosts.


Spring frosts reduced yield in many areas, producing 35% less fruit than in 2002. Quality is considered good albeit not stellar.


Warm weather that was good for Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, but less beneficial to Sauvignon Blanc.


Exceptional quality on the south island, but was lighter in style on the north island.


Much lower yields thanks to rot caused by rain. Marlborough was one of the best regions of the country.