Don’t be late… but hesitate before you sign

The outlook continues to be positive for Riverland growers with signs of increasing demand for the region’s winegrapes in 2018.  Many growers have already been contacted by several of the major wineries and winegrape broking businesses keen to secure supply of good fruit. 

Every offer to buy grapes must be evaluated carefully.  The likelihood that an offer to purchase is genuine is most easily gauged by the level of confidence sensed at the first contact.  It’s important to feel a sense of confidence right from the outset that any offer is fair and genuine and that the buyer will have the capacity to pay. It’s also crucial to understand exactly what the offer is. If you have never heard of the buyer, it’s likely that none else has either.  That’s NOT to say the offer will be shonky but call Riverland Wine and discuss the situation. The Association may undertake a credit- reference check on behalf of members in some cases.

If the offer is an ‘annual purchase’ or ‘spot-buy’ arrangement, the terms and conditions of sale will likely be more simple than a long term or multi-year arrangement but in either case there must be a binding agreement in place before committing your year’s work to any purchaser.  While wineries may be keen to secure supply it’s important to note that we are only in mid-September so there are several months of waiting time yet before we can be confident of just how markets will play out by the time the harvesters crank into operation.  Be thorough but don’t wait for a better and another better offer.  Sometimes offers will lapse of reduce in value.

As a service to growers looking to place uncontracted grapes, Riverland Wine will publish to all SA wineries that crush more than 500 tonnes, the Register of Unsold Grapes on a weekly basis, from now until well into vintage.  If you expect to have grapes for sale during the 2018 vintage and if you wish to register them please email Kate or phone 8584 5816 for the necessary paperwork. Interested wineries will then contact growers directly to negotiate an agreement. Riverland Wine will provide a ‘Spot Purchase Wine Agreement’ (template) for growers to use as a means of protecting their commercial interests.

So the message is: ‘take the time to carefully consider any offer and be confident that potential buyers have the capacity to pay and very importantly, that the buyer will agree to sign a binding purchase agreement.

A copy of the Winegrapes for Sale form and the Spot Purchase Wine Agreement are available on the Riverland Wine website.


Subject: Grapes for Sale


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