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Wine News

Aussie drought lops grape harvest

Australia’s continuing drought looks likely to reduce the 2007 grape harvest by around 20 per cent, according to the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. The major drought impacts are in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. These are the states that account for the majority of wine grapes. Water allocations for irrigation to parched vineyards have already been lowered, and the Corporation’s Manager, Information and Analysis, Lawrie Stanford said that it’s ‘unlikely that even normal winter rains would sufficiently replenish water reserves to allow a return to full water allocations.’ It’s been a bad year for Australia’s vineyards generally, with frost damage also being a major problem. Frosts primarily hit the cooler-climate regions, with Coonawarra and Padthaway in South Australia as well as Victoria and Tasmania reporting great losses. Regions such as McLaren Vale and Clare Valley in South Australia were also affected sporadically. Mr Stanford said it was likely that the impact of the damage would still be felt in 2008. However, the picture isn’t all bleak. He stressed said that, ‘Current plantings had the capacity to meet projected wine demand over the next five years.’