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Number of Australian wine producers surpasses 2000

The number of Australian wine producers continue to grow despite concerns of an over supply of grapes and an ever increasing amount of unsold wine in inventory. There are now more than 2000 wine producing companies in Australia according to the 24th annual Australian & New Zealand Wine Industry Directory recently published by Winetitles.

Accounting for closures and mergers, listings of wine companies in the 2006 Directory showed a net gain of 109 wine producers, a 5.7% increase from the previous edition. The number of Australian wine producers listed in the Wine Industry Directory now stands at 2008, up from 1899 listed in the 2005 Directory.

“In the past 10 years, the Directory has seen an average net gain of about 107 wine producers per year. The number of wine companies has doubled since 1998 when there were 998 companies,” said Directory Editor Michael Major. “Over the past three years a new wine producer has opened for business every 69 hours.”

The first Directory, published in 1983, listed only 344 wine producers. The Directory lists companies which sell wine via a commercial brand but does not list vineyard-only enterprises or fruit wine producers.

“The rate of growth has slowed since the second half of the 1990s when we saw the greatest growth,” said Michael. “Nevertheless, the majority of the wine companies are newcomers to the industry as 61% of those listed in the Directory were established since 1990.”

The market challenges for these wine producers is further emphasised by the statistics in the Directory which show the top 20 companies account for 85% of total sales of branded wines by volume leaving the remaining 1988 companies to compete for the remaining 15% of the sales. The export market is dominated by six wine companies who contribute to 77% of all export sales.

Victoria has by far the greatest number of wine companies and had a net growth of 23 companies this year. Western Australia showed the greatest rate of growth in 2005 and grew by 10.6% from 282 companies to 312. The majority of Australia’s wine producers, 69%, are small producers crushing less than 100 tonnes. Queensland and Tasmania show the highest concentration of boutique wineries, both with more than 94% of their companies crushing less than 500 tonnes. About 77% of Victorian companies crush less than 100 tonnes while South Australia has only 56% crushing less than 100 tonnes.

All States, except Tasmania, showed an increase in the number of producers listed: · Victoria (583 total wine producers; 4.1% growth) · South Australia (502 total wine producers; 6.6% growth) · New South Wales and ACT (428 total wine producers; 4.9% growth) · Western Australia (312 total wine producers; 10.6% growth) · Queensland (105 total wine producers; 5.0% growth) · Tasmania (77 total wine producers; 0% growth)

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

· Nearly all wine companies produce table wine while less than 28% produce sparkling or fortified wine. · About 75% (1513) of all companies have a cellar door; Queensland has the highest percentage as 91% of its wineries have cellar doors while South Australia has the lowest at 59%. · Wine is made on site by 1119 producers. · Wine companies are using the Internet to a greater extent—75% of companies now have a website, compared to 37% five years ago and 93% now list an e-mail address. · 52% of all wine companies export wine, although only 21% of companies that crush less than 20 tonnes export their wine.

The 552-page 2006 Australian & New Zealand Wine Industry Directory includes a comprehensive listing of 6688 industry personnel, 2469 wine producers, 1135 suppliers, 200 distributors, 156 writers and wine publications, 261organisations, 4227 e-mail addresses, 3481 websites and 426 calendar listings. It also contains a comprehensive overview of the industry which includes statistics and descriptions of the main industry regulating bodies and a calendar of events including details for wine shows. The 2002 and 2003 editions won the prestigious Australian Business Publishers Association Bell Award from Best Printed Directory.

The Directory is available from Winetitles for A$108.90 in Australia, A$111 in New Zealand and A$132 overseas. (All prices include postage). For details, contact Winetitles on telephone (08) 8292 0888; fax (08) 8293 4666, email , or online at winetitles.com.au/wid



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