- Date 3:00 PM Wednesday 15 April 2020
- Type COVID-19
Marlborough Mayor John Leggett has praised the local wine industry for successfully handling the 2020 vintage under the extreme circumstances created by COVID-19.
Vintage is always an intense time for our wineries with everything dependent on the weather, but this year the wineries have faced extra pressure, said the Mayor.
“Wineries had to adopt stringent health and hygiene regimes particularly as they were managing local and overseas vintage workers, harvest crews in the field and transport operators. Some local staff have been isolated from their families for the duration of vintage.
Everyone has been under huge pressure to get the grapes in, aware that a COVID-19 outbreak could knock down the workforce at any moment.”
It’s to the industry’s credit that harvest is drawing to a close without incident and, by all accounts, it’s a highly successful vintage, he said.
“Wine is a very substantial contributor to the overall prosperity of Marlborough so I’m relieved that this is one COVID bullet that we’ve managed to dodge,” said Mr Leggett.
“Wine accounts for a fifth of the local economy and countless local businesses depend on clients who’re connected one way or another with grape growing or wine making.
When the vintage goes well, it’s good news for our whole region.”
As Mayor of New Zealand’s largest wine-growing region, Mr Leggett said he was aware the virus was going to make life difficult in the coming months with so many international wine trade events and marketing opportunities postponed.
“It will be a time for innovative marketing and, given our industry reputation and relationships, I’m confident that the strong Marlborough brand will prove its worth.”