The Australian wine industry’s grape intake fell in 2007 with the winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) vintage report recording an estimated crush of 1.42 million tonnes – just over 25% or 483,000 tonnes less than the 2006 vintage of 1.9 million tonnes (ABs).

Red winegrape intake fell 35% compared with 2006 from 1.04 million tonnes to 678,000 tonnes, a decrease of 363,000 tonnes. red grapes accounted for 48% of the total vintage. white winegrape intake decreased by 14% or just under 120,000 tonnes in 2007, or by 14%, to 741,000 tonnes, representing 52% of the total intake.

The WFA attributed the dramatic fall in grape intake to the combined effects of drought, frost and bushfire smoke taint during the growing season and during harvest.

With grape intake down across the board, those varieties most affected were shiraz, down 36% to 293,000 tonnes. with this vintage, shiraz lost its dominance as Australia’s largest winegrape variety to chardonnay, with shiraz accounting for 21% of the total intake. while the chardonnay intake was also down, by 8% to 395,000 tonnes, its share of the total crush was 28%.

Cabernet sauvignon dropped 36% to 187,000 tonnes, comprising 13% of the total 2007 crush.

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