Wine Australia has published the 2018 SA Winegrape Crush Survey and the Regional Summary Report. All the details are available on the Vinehealth Australia website. The Riverland summary reported the total crush of Riverland grown grapes tallied up to 447K tonnes; 232K tonnes of reds and 216K tonnes of white grapes. This was almost 25K tonnes less than 2017 but still more than 60% of the SA crush.
Averages are easy to calculate but can be misleading. The overall average for reds was $470, whites $313, for an overall average of $391 across all varieties. Riverland Wine will be drilling down into this data over coming weeks, particularly the ‘ranges’ of prices paid by variety. One of the main handbrakes on the industry has been the concentration of prices within narrow price bands. The implication of this is that the great majority of grapes are ‘fit for the same purpose’. Without price differentiation that recognises the true value of Riverland grapes, the challenge to motivate growers to strive for excellence, to implement best practice and continuously improve irrigation and winegrowing practices continues to be a hell of a battle. Stay tuned for more details over coming weeks.