The Barossa’s approach to a crushing problem. Some small relief announced this morning for the beleaguered Australian wine industry — the crush during this year’s vintage was 5% less than in 2008. The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures out this morning show there were 1.73 million tonnes of grapes crushed in 2008-09, a decrease of 99,000 tonnes. So much for the good news.

The bad news from the same release was that inventories of Australian wine held by winemakers (who crush more than 400 tonnes) increased this year to 1.92 billion litres at June 30, 2009. This was a 2.4% increase on last years end of financial year figure. Table wine inventories rose 2.3% to 1.7 billion litres as at 30 June 2009.

With the export collapsing because of the strengthening Australian dollar, the grim times for producers and good times for consumers are likely to continue for at least the next 12 months. Which might explain why the heartland of the Australian industry has turned in a new marketing direction, which is featuring Evony rather than Grange.

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[thanks, Crikey]

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