Winemakers from the Port Macquarie-Hastings are starting to see a rebound in yield following a challenging few years due to drier than average weather conditions.
Increased rain over the past year has seen this year's vintage improve locally, with the hope that promising weather patterns will continue.
Cassegrain Wines' senior winemaker Alex Cassegrain said weather conditions during spring and summer impacted their harvesting season.
"The drought had impacted our yield leading up to last year, but because of a warm spring and cooler summer last year, our yield has been quite good," he said.
"We did get rain here in the Hastings at the wrong time, but we were able to harvest a lot of whites and were able to move our harvest dates forward due to the cooler summer.
"We were also able to harvest some varieties that we wouldn't have been able to if we left them on the vine longer."
Alex said the past year has been fantastic for whites, however reds have proven to be a challenge.
"The yield has been down, but the quality of the fruit is up," he said.
Because Cassegrain Wines have expanded to operate as a multi-regional producer, fruit is now sourced from across NSW.
"Because we are multi-regional, we were also able to source from our other wine regions in NSW when we were experiencing poor weather conditions," said Cassegrain Wines' national business development manager Philippe Cassegrain.
For Bago Maze and Wine, they also noticed yields are also starting to improve following the drought.
"We picked in February this year and overall our yields have improved, but they are still down," said Bago Maze and Wine operations manager Ian Mobbs.
"The vines are still very much impacted by the drought, but they are improving."
Bago Maze and Wines also relies heavily on tourism and said that up until recently they had a healthy stream of people visiting the farm.
"Once the lockdown was lifted last year we had people coming out here and we were actually quite busy," Mr Mobbs said.
"We do rely on domestic tourism and I think people have been travelling more of regional NSW which has been positive for us."
Locals have also been supporting the business by using their Dine & Discover vouchers at Bago Maze and Wine.
"All of our sales are local and through our cellar door and we have noticed locals have been coming out to support us," Mr Mobbs said.
Product sales for Cassegrain Wines is a different story as they not only sell their wines locally, but they also export their products to international markets.
The business' exports to China has been put on hold and with tough Covid restrictions limiting travel and tourism opportunities, the team at Cassegrain Wines have started exploring other business avenues.
"Our exports to China were growing before Covid and overall our exports have taken a hit because of pandemic," Philippe said.
"This closure of exports to China has opened up other avenues of export for us including Vietnam and potentially the United Kingdom."
The team have also created a sparkling non-fermented 100 per cent natural grape juice that will be released in their online shop.
"Our online sales have increased during Covid and we've had more people sign up to our wine club which has been really positive."
Locals have also been stepping up to support winemakers in the Hastings.
"Covid has also had an impact on tourism and we have noticed more locals are starting to support local," Philippe said.
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