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Number of Australian wine producers tops 2300

The number of Australian wine producers continues to grow despite concerns of drought and over-supply that are impacting profitability in the industry. There are now 2320 wine-producing companies in Australia according to the 27th annual Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory recently published by Adelaide-based company Winetitles.

Accounting for closures and mergers, listings of wine companies in the 2009 Directory showed a net gain of 21 wine producers, a 0.9% increase from the previous edition. The number of Australian wine producers listed in the Wine Industry Directory now stands at 2320, up from 2299 listed in the 2008 Directory.

“In the past 10 years, the Directory has seen an average net gain of about 121 wine producers per year,” said Directory Editor Anita Donaldson.

South Australia recorded the highest number of new producers adding 13 to its 2008 tally of 607 to reach 620 in 2009; Victoria grew 1.6% adding 11 new producers to its 2008 tally of 687 to reach 698, giving Victoria the greatest number of wine producers listed in the 2009 Directory.

“The greatest number of producers (512) crush between 20t and 49t, however, this figure has reduced from 528 in the 2008 Directory (-3%). This would either seem to indicate a reduction in small producers due to failure of the business, or acquisition of the business by another producer shifting the business into a higher tonnage category,” said Donaldson.

Australian wine producers advised the Directory they used 135 winegrape varieties to produce straight varietal or blended wines. Some of the new varieties entering the list this year were Aranel, Aucerot, Brachetto, Burger, Caverdella, Flora, Gruner Veltliner, Malian and Nero d’Avola. Shiraz is the most common variety being produced with more than 80% of producers making it, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon with 70% and Chardonnay with 69%.

There were 235 producers indicating they made a straight or blended wine with Tempranillo in this edition of the Directory, up 19% from 198 in 2008. Other varietals to show growth included Pinot Gris, Marsanne; and Colombard. Fewer producers are now making or blending Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Franc.

Other key statistics about Australian wine producers highlighted in the Directory include:

•Nearly all wine companies produce table wine while only around 30% produce sparkling or fortified wine

•There are 115 Australian producers going green, producing organic wine to certified standards.

•The Top 5 wine companies accounted for about 51% of the national crush

•Foster’s Group and Constellation alone account for about 41% of all branded wine sales

•56% of all wine companies export wine. A total of 483 producers export to China, this is up from 398 producers exporting to China in 2008.

The 528-page 2009 Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory includes a comprehensive listing of industry personnel, wine producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, writers and wine publications and organisations, events and wineshows. It also contains a comprehensive overview of the industry which includes statistics and descriptions of the main industry regulating bodies.

The Directory is available from Winetitles for A$123.20 in Australia, A$125.00 in New Zealand and A$147.50 overseas. (All prices include postage and include the accompanying CD-ROM). For details, contact Winetitles on telephone (08) 8292 0888; fax (08) 8293 4666, e-mail [email protected], or online at