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Australian Grape Oversupply Problems.  Add/Read Comments



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Concerns about the future of Australia's wine industry have heightened with news that the premium wine regions are also being hit by an oversupply of grapes. With this year's vintage now reaching its final stages, it's now estimated that up to one third of grape growers in the Barossa Valley in South Australia have no market for their fruit and will leave their grapes to rot on the vine.

ABC.net
"It's now estimated that there's almost one billion litres of excess wine in storage around the country. Boom times in the late 90s which saw grape prices double led to exponential growth in vine plantings, helped by generous tax concessions. Now an estimated 7,000 growers are competing to supply 2,000 wineries in Australia. Barossa Valley-based Peter Lehmann Wines' chief winemaker, Andrew Wiggan, says they have faced some tough decisions this year."

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From someone in Australia, who is an enthusiastic amateur (not in the wine industry), the oversupply problem means an incredible amount of premium wines at ridiculously low prices. I am going tomorrow to pick up 2 dozen of Hardy's Oomoo 2004 McLaren Vale Shiraz (although not normally clssified as a premiuim wine but is rated by James Halliday at 94/100) for $11 per bottle. It is insane!! My cellar is overflowing! Whilst it is not good news for growers and producers it is fantastic for the consumer - wish you were here! I am hoepful that the skyrocketing prices for the Bordeaux 2005 En-Primeur will cause a reduction in prices of some of the 2000 and 2001 vintages as merchants seek to free up funds to acquire the 2005. What do you think?

Sadly I have not noticed any such price reductions in the UK for Australian wine; it would be nice if there was. I don't tend to follow Bordeaux prices apart from noting the overall quailty of a vintage or any squeels of surprise (again!) of price rises.