New Zealand has announced that its 2022 vintage is to be made up entirely of late harvest wines.
‘We’re very excited,’ said Bran Cott-Estate, head of the Policy and Research Team of the Booze Union of New Zealand (PERTBUNZ). ‘No country has ever done anything like this before.’
According to PERTBUNZ the move is ‘part of a carefully conceived long-term strategy, and nothing at all to do with the fact that we didn’t get our working visa system for pickers reopened in time.’
The shift to late harvest has met with a mixed reaction, with some describing the decision as ‘baffling’ and others as ‘the only logical solution when you have a Covid policy to outsiders that’s largely modelled on the great Gondor fortress of Minas Tirith or, at a push, North Korea.’
‘People might say this is a huge risk,’ said Cott-Estate, ‘But frankly it’s no bigger a gamble than hitching 80% of your industry to a grape variety that nobody likes.’
Torrents of love
Mr Cott-Estate told Fake Booze that leaving fruit on the vines for a further six weeks until the first pickers arrived would give the country an exciting opportunity to test just how resistant people are to sweet wines – and how resistant the country’s grapes were to several more weeks of torrential rain.
‘New Zealand already has a great reputation with drinkers the world over,’ said Cott-Estate. ‘And we’re confident that they will follow us up the price ladder to pay five times what they do at the moment for something that’s squint-inducingly full of sugar.
‘After all, it’s worked a charm for prestige cuvée champagne.’
All colour star
Kiwi drinks critic, Claudia Bay, said she could see the new late harvest wine styles being a big hit.
‘Obviously, we can see how Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling could be successful,’ she told Fake Booze.
‘And frankly, anything that changes the character of our Merlot has to be a good thing, too.’
The move to a 100% botrytised vintage has been hailed by Kiwi winemakers as a world first.
Though drinks writer Frances Jobbinson disputed this, telling Fake Booze that ‘Bulgaria’s production has been almost entirely rotten for years.’
Click here to read about the amazing trade deal that guarantees even cheaper Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc in the UK.