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Australian wine growers switch grape varieties in response to changing markets

Australian wine growers are switching grape varieties in response to changing markets.

Australia has had a huge change in where it sells its wines over the last few years and demand has also changed from big reds to whites.

According to Wine Australia, around 94% of grapes come from only 20 varieties with Shiraz taking up around 25% and Cabernet Sauvignon around 15%. But in a move to lighter reds and more whites, growers are switching to Mediterranean grape varieties being grafted onto vines, as a way to diversify.

Fiano from Italy and other varieties from Spain, Greece, Italy and Georgia and being grafted, according to Jim Markeas from Mallee Estate. They have converted a fifth of their vineyards to these new varieties.