By James Atkinson
Australian Vintage Limited (AVL) crushed 124,214 tonnes of grapes from the 2014 vintage compared to 153,000 tonnes the previous year, due to frost events.
CEO Neil McGuigan said the significant frost event had impacted vineyards particularly in Balranald in the Riverina and those near Swan Hill, Victoria.
"These two vineyards alone were 16,000 tonnes below last year. Our Adelaide Hills vineyards were also down by 36 per cent," he said.
"In terms of quality, the wine from dry land vineyards is again outstanding and at this early stage is looking better than the 2013 vintage. The quality from irrigated regions is equal to the outstanding 2013."
McGuigan said sales continue to be marginally down on last year due mainly to reduced bulk wine sales into North America and into the UK.
“Australasia/North America packaged sales continue to be up on last year with an increase in our branded bottle sales, predominately driven by the McGuigan brand," he said.
“The exchange rate, particularly the GBP, have moved favourably during this financial year resulting in improved margin and our contribution from the UK/Europe segment is currently better than last year."
"However, it is evident that some of the improved margin from the lower AUD has been eroded with ongoing margin pressure from our UK customers."
McGuigan said AVL expects that the 2014 industry crush will be down on 2013 due to the effects of frost in late 2013.
"Whilst this will help the industry’s supply and demand position it is likely to lead to higher priced wine due to lower utilisation of the industry’s processing assets. It is quite clear that the industry still has an issue with an overcapacity of processing capability," he said.