Riverina harvest close to record

12 April, 2013

The 2013 harvest in the Riverina region of Australia, at 300,000 tonnes, is just 8,000 short of the 308,000 2009 all time record, according to the Riverina Winemakers Association.

The red grape intake of 136,000 was a new record, eclipsing the 2009 figure by almost 2,000 tonnes.
In the absence of the flooding rains experienced last year, winemakers reported a vintage of good quality and sound fruit, 17.5% higher than the rain-affected 2012 vintage, which contained almost 6,000 tonnes of fruit processed for concentrate. The intake of sound fruit was up 20% on 2012 and met 99% of wineries’ anticipated intake.
This recent vintage backs up the statement made last year by the Association that “...in the absence of the rains, the Riverina remains capable of producing 300,000 of grapes in a normal year.”
The only significant weak spot was Chardonnay, which at 54,000 was 6% fewer than winemaker requirements and 9,000 tonnes fewer than 2012. A Chardonnay production similar to 2012 would have seen a new overall grape intake record of around 310,000 tonnes.
RWA president Les Worland, said the vintage was good news, with growers receiving a boost though increased yield and winemakers incurring lower processing costs due to the more benign vintage conditions.
“However the marketing outlook remains grim. Monetary policy in both the United States and Europe suggest that the Australian dollar will not retreat from its current levels. Margins in export are wafer thin and wineries will continue to explore all avenues to reduce input costs,” said Worland.

Keywords: wine, australia, Riverina

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