1329.0.55.002 - Vineyards, Australia, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/10/2012   
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16 October 2012
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Vines are down but wines are up: ABS

The area of grape vines in Australia has decreased but thanks to favourable seasonal conditions there's still plenty of wine, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Since 2010, the total area of vines decreased by six per cent (falling to 145,000 hectares) while total wine grape production increased by three per cent (to 1.6 million tonnes).

The decrease was due to poor market conditions leading to the removal or abandonment of vines but this was offset by good seasonal conditions and idea ripening weather which saw the overall yield increase by six per cent to 11 tonnes per hectare.

Red wine production was affected by unfavourable rain conditions in southern and eastern Australia, resulting in a national decrease of five per cent to 806,000 tonnes. However, these conditions had little effect on white wine production - which increased 13% to 776,000 tonnes - as most grapes had already been picked.

Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continued to be the most popular wine varieties, accounting for nearly two thirds of total production.

More than one-third of all vineyards were in South Australia, representing nearly half (48%) of Australia's wine production.

Further information is in Vineyards Estimates, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 1329.0.55.002) available free of charge from the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>.