US shortfall may solve Oz surplus


La Niña and the succession of cool, rainy summers it has inflicted on much of south-east Australia may be making life extremely difficult for grape growers who in 2011 and 2012 are having to combat unusual conditions in the vineyard. But because it has had the same effect on the vineyards of the west coast of the United States across the Pacific, it could just be responsible for at long last ridding Australia of its persistent wine surplus.

Partly because of the economic downturn (the GFC, as Australians call it, with the nonchalance of a nation relatively unaffected by it)...