New Zealand's winegrowers are back on track to meet industry expectations following two years of poor grape harvests, claims a new report. New Zealand Winegrowers said this year's grape vintage was back to normal levels following an improvement in yields. It said that grape growers and winemakers in the country harvested nearly 120,000 tonnes of grapes this year, up 67% from last year. The increase in production has been put down to a return to normal yield levels and an increase in the producing area of just over 10%. The increase means the country is back on track to stake its share of the UK sales growth in wines from the southern hemisphere. New Zealand Winegrowers chief executive Philip Gregan said: "Overall, vintage 2002 reflects two key aspects of the growing season. First, weather conditions during flowering were generally favourable, leading to a return to normal yield levels, after the very depressed crops of the past two years. "Then, the harvest benefited from the warm, dry autumn prevailing in most regions in the critical ripening period from February through to May. "Combined with the increased producing area this has produced a record grape crop of generally very good quality. "This is very welcome after the frustrations the industry has experienced over the past two years." {{DRINKS }}