Declining grape price to heighten private Murray Valley growers exodus

Declining grape price to heighten private Murray Valley growers exodus
Declining grape price to heighten private Murray Valley growers exodus

The release of the 2014 Murray Valley wine grape crush survey has indicated "only bad news" for growers, with prices falling further off an already low base.

The Murray Valley, which extends from Mildura to Swan Hill, is Australia’s second largest wine grape production zone.

The size of the national harvest is yet to be confirmed, but it is estimated to be slightly below last year’s 1.8 million tonnes.

Chardonnay, while still the largest variety produced in the region, suffered the largest price fall (28%) and was now close to the lowest priced Colombard variety grown in Sunraysia.

Both Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon dropped 28% in production and suffered a price decrease of between 17% to 20% from last year.

"It is inevitable that given the downward pressure on wine grape prices there will be further growers to leave the industry," Herron Todd White reported.

It noted there are currently approximately 500 growers in the Sunraysia area, down from around 1,000 about a decade ago. 

The local paper, The Sunraysia Daily, recently wrote the small, family-owned wine grape property is headed for extinction in Sunraysia.

Winery-owned acreages had more than doubled in the decade.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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Winery Rural

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