As many as 60% of vine growers in Australia's crucial inland Riverland region are considering giving up, not least because of the current drought, according to this report by Ken Gargett in Meininger's Wine Business International. As Gargett points out, "Compounding the problem for growers is the slowdown in exports, which saw volume down by 13% and value down by 12% to [in] the year ending July 2008."
Meininger's also published a revealing report by Bob Campbell MW spelling out just how unexpectedly generous the 2008 crop of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has been, leading to tensions between the grape growers who supply the brand owners. But in the medium term anyway there is likely to be a ready market for all this wine, one of the world's current favourites.
As outlined already in Australia's sale of the century?, NZ SB is top of Australian wine drinkers' pops at the moment - so much so that Australia has now overtaken the UK as New Zealand wine's biggest export market.
And, also covered in Australia's sale of the century?, the continued sell-off by disaffected brewers Foster's continues to reverberate around the Australian wine scene. More details of how unsatisfactory the big global corporations are finding the wine business as an investment are available here. It really is no good expecting a quick profit out of wine. We could have told them that, couldn't we?
And finally, those intrigued by my wine of the week Monty's French Red might like to read about the blood, sweat and back pain that went into making it. The Daily Mail has published an abridged version of the book of the forthcoming C4 tv series that spawned the wine, Chateau Monty. The tale is available online here, complete with photographs.