Bargain-priced wines from Australia may soon become the norm.
Recent bumper crops have increased the supply of wine grapes and helped drive down prices. Now, South Australian vines are showing promise of a good grape crop: i.e., another wine glut.
Paul Clancy, chairman of the Wine Grapes Council of South Australia, told the Aussie broadcaster ABC Rural that last year's crop was more than 500,000 tons and this can't be sustained year after year. He says that with overseas and domestic wine markets stagnating, many grape growers soon will have no buyers.
"I think in the next few years, growers will find that the contracts that have been written by some of the companies won't be renewed," he said. "And it's not a big bang catastrophe. It's death by a thousand cuts."
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