By Andy Young
Red wine grape production increased by five per cent across the 2015 vintage, compared to the 2012 vintage, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The ABS figures also showed that white wine grape production decreased by two per cent over the same time period, to an estimated 764,000 tonnes.
Katie Hutt from the ABS said: "We estimate that there were 86,600 hectares of red wine grapes in 2015, accounting for 64 per cent of all wine grape vines in Australia.
"The most popular variety of red wine grape produced in 2015 was Shiraz with 395,000 tonnes, accounting for 47 per cent of all red wine grape production."
Speaking about white wine, Hutt added: "Chardonnay continues to be the top white wine grape variety produced in Australia with an estimated 341,000 tonnes produced in 2015. The second largest white wine grape variety produced was Sauvignon Blanc with an estimated 84,000 tonnes."
With 739,324 tonnes in total South Australia was the largest wine grape producing region, followed by New South Wales with 495,789. The ABS also estimated that 440,000 megalitres of water was used to irrigate vineyards across the country, which represents an 18 per cent increase from the 2012 estimates. The ABS attributed this increase to the dry conditions experienced across many regions.