2012-13 will be a good year for grape production, according to a recent report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
The report, Australian Wine Grape Production Projections, forecast that Australian wine grape production will increase by 5% to 1.61 million tonnes in 2012-13 and will increase by a further 1.63 million tonnes in 2013-14, assuming seasonal conditions are favourable.
Growers experienced less-than-ideal growing conditions in 2011-12, with chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon yields most affected by last year’s wet conditions. The overall 2011-12 wine grape production is estimated at 1.53 million tonnes, the lowest since 2006-07.
The Murray Darling, Swan Hill, Big Rivers and Lower Murray regions account for 60% of Australian wine grape production, but are expected to yield 2 to 5% less grapes than 2010, which has contributed to reduced Australian grape production for 2011-12.
“For many reasons in Eastern Australia, the damage sustained by vineyards during the wet 2010-11 growing season had a negative effect on the fruit set of this year’s crop,” said Paul Morris, ABARES executive director.
“As a result, vines had fewer grape bunches with smaller berries on each bunch, although the quality is expected to be good.”
Heavy rainfall in late February and early March 2012 also led to disease outbreak and crop losses in parts of Eastern New South Wales and Northern Victoria.