The Waitaki Valley's 2018 wines could be worth waiting for.

The grape harvest, under way in about 41ha of vineyards, was ''exciting'', Waitaki Valley Wine Growers Association chairman Andrew Ballantyne said.

''It's a very good vintage for us. We've got bumper crops and they're nicely ripened, with a good balance of acidity and pH.''

The tail-end of former Cyclone Gita had caused some anxiety a month ago, and now the grape-growers were eager to complete picking, Mr Ballantyne said.


''We did get some outbreak of disease, but because there was so much fruit, it was quite easily managed.''

Waitaki Valley had escaped the cyclone reasonably well, although Central Otago was probably the

least-affected winegrowing area, he said. He was horrified to see Hawke's Bay growers knee-deep in floodwater.

All the Waitaki Valley wineries had sent in ''good reports'' about their harvest and they were happy with the quantity as well as the quality of their fruit, Mr Ballantyne said.

The Ostler Wines Ltd team was delighted with its ''larger-than-usual juicy crop of pinot noir''.

Meanwhile, the Waitaki Valley is still waiting for its ''geographical indication'', or GI - collectively owned property rights used internationally to promote and protect the reputations of wines' places of origin.

Once the valley received its GI confirmation, it would be recognised as a distinct, stand-alone winegrowing region.

That would be cause for celebration, Mr Ballantyne said.

Central Rural Life