According to Grape shortage could hit wine sector, 2010 could be the year when the demand for Australian grapes exceeds the supply. Currently, there is a glut of grapes down under, which is discouraging new plantings of grape vines. Heavy planting in the late 1990s caused the current oversupply of grapes.
Wines have been a big export item for Australia; the country exported 8% of the wine sold internationally in 2004. By 2010, that market share is projected to grow to 10%. Growth beyond that point, however, is uncertain due to the projected grape shortage.
Drinkers of box wines and other affordable have some reason to be concerned. Some of the best wines in the value end of the spectrum come from Australia. A fair number of these can be had for under $5 a bottle with careful shopping. If the Australian grape supply tightens up considerably, we can expect to see some of those deep discounts and big bargains go the way of extinct marsupials. And these ready-to-drink shiraz wines and other varietals aren’t really the kind of wine you want to put away for five or ten years.
The good news for cheap wine drinkers: the supply of Australian grapes still exceeds demand, so enjoy the high quality and low prices while they last!