Record wine crush for Australia


By Boyd Champness


THE Australian wine industry crushed 1.117 million tonnes of grapes in the 1999 season – the first time it has topped the million tonne mark – with Chardonnay and Shiraz the top varieties.


According to the Stock and Land, the 1999 harvest, up 20% on the previous year, represented an extra 139 million litres of wine, equivalent to two-thirds of total 1998-99 Australian wine export volumes.


The Australian Wine Federation said red wine grapes increased by 33% to 473,995 tonnes, representing just over 40% of the total crush, with specialist white wine grapes up by 21% to 494,662 tonnes or 42% of the total crush.


The rapid increase in vineyards across Australia has some agricultural pundits concerned about market availability and maintaining prices for Australian wine.


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