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1329.0 - Australian Wine and Grape Industry, 1997  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/12/1997   
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MEDIA RELEASE

December 23, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
178/97
Record sales of Australian made wine

Sales of Australian produced wine reached record levels on both the domestic and international markets in 1996-97, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The publication Australian Wine and Grape Industry, 1997 reveals that Australia exported a record 154.4 million litres of wine in 1996-97, valued at $603.3 million and averaging $3.91 per litre. Domestic sales of Australian produced wine rose 8 per cent on the previous year to a new record of 333.6 million litres.

New records were also set in the stocks of beverage wine held by winemakers and in the total area of grape vines. The 1996-97 season was also good for growing in most areas, resulting in the second highest grape production on record.

Statistical features from the publication include:
  • Despite the falls in grapes crushed and wine production, stocks of Australian produced beverage wine rose to a new record of 815.6 million litres in stock at 30 June 1997 - up 4 per cent on the previous record in 1996.
  • In 1997, the grapevine bearing area of 71,451 hectares passed the previous record of 65,182 hectares at the 1980 harvest. Also, at the 1997 harvest a record area of grapevines not yet bearing (17,024 hectares) were recorded, lifting the total area under vine to a new record of 88,474 hectares.
  • Production of grapes for all purposes from the 1997 harvest was 934,511 tonnes falling short of the 1996 record of over 1 million tonnes.
  • 797,992 tonnes of fresh grapes was crushed for the 1997 vintage by winemakers who crush 50 tonnes or more. This was down 10 per cent on the previous record in 1996.
  • The volume of beverage wine produced by these winemakers was 580.8 million litres, down 6 per cent on the previous record in 1996.
  • Imports of wine for 1996-97 were 13.6 million litres at an average cost of $4.89 per litre, well below last years record quantity of 20.3 million litres.

Details are in Australian Wine and Grape Industry, 1997 (cat. no. 1329.0) available at ABS bookshops.

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