Clean-up underway in cyclone-damaged regions as the New Zealand wine industry looks toward harvest

23 Feb 2023

The impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, and the extent of the damage to vineyards in flooded areas in the North Island is still being assessed, but clean-up is underway as winegrowers look towards this year’s harvest says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“Cyclone Gabrielle has occurred on the cusp of the busiest time of year for the industry, just as the 2023 vintage is about to begin, and it is a major blow for affected growers and wineries throughout Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne. We have been working with our regional associations and government agencies to support, and help them access the resources they need to ensure the future viability of their vineyards.”

As the varied extent of the damage in flooded regions becomes clearer, many winegrowers who have not been as extensively affected in these areas are moving on from the initial phase of response, and are beginning harvest.

“We have a large number of vineyards in both regions that have not been as significantly impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle, and these winegrowers are beginning to harvest their crop, with many producers still feeling positive and looking forward to a high-quality vintage.”

On the other hand, there were others who had suffered huge damage to their vineyards and wineries, and these devastated winegrowers needed help to begin the recovery and rehabilitation process. “Those affected have a long road ahead of them to assess the damage, undertake the clean- up and consider their future. The recovery funding announced by the Government this week is a good start to making this all possible, and future financial relief that is expected to be announced in due course will be appreciated.”

“The ongoing challenges over the past few years have proven the resilience and adaptability of the New Zealand wine community, and the impact of Cyclone Gabrielle has been met with the same strength and determination. Our industry's unwavering commitment to producing premium quality wines will prevail, so wine lovers in New Zealand and around the world can continue to enjoy the distinctive wines from these regions.”

The industry has come together to help those in need, and many have reached out wanting to contribute financially to help the wine industry directly with the recovery and rehabilitation process. Those wanting to donate directly to the Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne wine communities can find more information here.




Editor’s Note:

  • Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne are New Zealand’s second and third largest wine producing regions respectively, together producing nearly 60,000 tonnes (or 12%) of the 2022 vintage. See more information on New Zealand's annual wine production output in the 2021 NZ Winegrowers Annual Report.


For further information contact:

Amber Silvester

Communications Manager, New Zealand Winegrowers


Philip Gregan

CEO, New Zealand Winegrowers, 021 964 564


Images: New Zealand wine images are available here


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