Many grape growers in the region are fortunate to have contracts to sell their grapes each year. Everyone knows, a contract eases the burden of selling, particularly in trying times.
Those not so fortunate are often left to shoulder the burden of selling their year’s labour and inputs.
The majority make numerous calls to wineries in the hope that they can find a buyer but the results of those calls are often demoralising.
As in the past ten vintages, Riverland Wine assisted growers in 2016 by compiling a register of unsold grapes. Members notified Kate at the Riverland Wine office, with details of the uncontracted varieties and estimated tonnes of grapes available for sale, together with their email addresses and phone numbers.
Throughout vintage the register was emailed to all SA wineries that crush more than 500 tonnes every Friday afternoon. For many, it worked a treat and some have now established longer term contracts with wineries they had never thought to approach.
The total listed this year was almost 21,000. The final listing was sent to wineries this week with just 2,240 tonnes still listed, a clearance rate of 89%. The total tonnes listed this year were approximately about 6,000 tonnes less than last year.