The New Zealand wine industry has reported its 23rd consecutive year of growth. The sector which is currently valued at $1.7 billion hopes to achieve $2 billion in exports by the end of 2020.

According to a report from New Zealand’s annual wine growers, export values on NZ wine increased by 2.5 percent in June of 2018. Wine is currently New Zealand’s fifth largest export, behind only that of dairy, meat, wood and fruits which account for roughly $20 billion.

2017 saw slower growth for New Zealand wine exports as bad weather hit winegrowers hard. However, a warm summer in 2018 saw profits increase with over 419,000 tonnes of grapes harvested.

John Clarke, chair of New Zealand winegrowers said “In the coming year we predict export growth will continue to be muted given that the 2018 vintage was smaller than we had hoped. The outcome will also be affected heavily by the exchange rate, which is currently looking more favourable.”

New Zealand’s increased tourism trade is also having an impact on New Zealand with 27 percent of visitors to the country visiting a winery while on their trip. “Touring NZ wineries and vineyards have become a huge drawcard for visitors – with 279 wineries offering wine tourism experiences throughout the country,” added New Zealand winegrowers.

New Zealand currently exports its wine globally; its largest importer is the US followed by the UK.