By Ian Neubauer
Improved water allocations and active water trading in the warm inland districts are believed to be responsible for a higher than expected wine grape harvest this year.
At almost 50 per cent complete, the 2008 harvest is now expected to deliver between 1.55 and 1.65 million tonnes, the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) reported.
The revised assessment is below the average of 1.9 million tonnes but higher than the pre-harvest estimate of 1.22 million tonnes. The assessment represents an upturn on the frost- and drought-affected 2007 harvest of 1.397 million tonnes.
“The result is a positive one for the Australian wine sector,” said AWBC chief executive, Jock Osborne. “It should reassure markets of our ability to maintain supply, while at the same time rationalising some of the pressure on supply/demand balance.”