Viticulture

Record spend for wine sector

By Country News

Wine Australia will pump a record $79 million into the grape and wine sector in 2019-20, focusing on research, development and extension, market development and export regulations.

The investment was announced as part of the body’s annual operational plan, with Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark saying a focus on improving perceptions of Australian wine was paying dividends internationally.

‘‘In the period from July 1, 2015, to March 30, 2019, total free on board (FOB) export value has increased by 47 per cent from $1.9billion to $2.78 billion,’’ Mr Clark said.

‘‘At the same time, the average value of all exports has increased by 31 per cent from $2.61 per litre to $3.41 per litre with value growth in all price segments.

‘‘This increased average value of exports has been accompanied by a 32 per cent increase in the national average wine grape purchase price from $463 per tonne in vintage 2015, to $609 per tonne in vintage 2018.’’

Consultation will soon begin with the grape and wine sector to inform the development of the next five-year strategic plan, Mr Clark said.

Grape growers and winemakers across the country will have the opportunity to provide their opinions on what our RD&E, marketing and regulation priorities should be during the next five-year period as part of the consultation.

RD&E priorities include building a better understanding of how grapevine genetics interact with the environment, how to optimise expressions of terroir through viticultural management and evaluating digital technologies.