SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Estimates from the Vineyards 2007 collection confirm that the season 2007 was characterised by difficult growing conditions, in particular a combination of drought and frost. This led to a significant reversal from recent years' record production levels.
AREA OF VINES
Grape growers cultivated 174,000 hectares of vines, a 3% increase from the 2006 season. The total bearing area for grapes rose to 164,000 hectares, while the area not yet bearing fell again, to 9,800 hectares. Red grape varieties comprised 58% of the total area of vines and 59% of the total bearing area.
The estimate for total grape production in 2007 fell significantly from 2006 levels to stand at 1.5 million tonnes. The largest producing state, South Australia, recorded a decrease in production of 34% to 586,000 tonnes. New South Wales retained its spot over Victoria as the next largest growing state, with a decrease in production to 429,000 tonnes while Victoria's production decreased to 419,000 tonnes.
White grape production (817,000 tonnes) was higher than red grape production (714,000 tonnes). Reflecting the poor season, grape production for winemaking fell significantly (by 23%), to 1.4 million tonnes. The production of grapes for drying fell by 31% to 81,000 tonnes, while the harvest of table and other grapes fell by 4%, to 78,700 tonnes.
South Australia remained the highest red grape-producing state with 47% (333,000 tonnes) of total red grape production. Victoria replaced South Australia as the highest producer of white grapes with 32% (263,000 tonnes) of total white grape production.
Three varieties of grapes accounted for 54% of all production: chardonnay (367,000 tonnes), shiraz (284,000 tonnes) and cabernet sauvignon (183,000 tonnes).
The principal source of water for irrigating vines in 2007 was surface water from state or private irrigation schemes, with a total of 93,800 hectares of vines irrigated from this source. The principal methods of watering vines in 2007 were by drip or micro spray, with a total of 123,000 hectares of vines irrigated by these methods.