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Grape glut for 2001 vintage

“This has been caused by tax-effective investments entering the market and the big winemakers consolidating their operations,” he said.

Part of the problem facing the Swan Valley’s grape growers is the size of their lots. Many of the vineyards produce around five tonnes of grapes each year, but the big wineries want their supplies in 30 tonne or more lots.

Mr Bromley said he had been trying to get some of the excess grapes turned to grape juice but at least $300,000 was needed for processing, bottling and marketing.

Wine Industry Association of WA technical committee chairman John Griffiths said there had been an almost logarithmic growth in grape supply.

“I think there are still opportunities for good growers who manage their vineyards economically,” he said.

“Growers need to be aware of what people are drinking and what winemakers want.”

Evans & Tate viticulturalist Murray Edmonds said he was often surprised by the amount of ignorance in the industry about the fruit supply situation.

“If you don’t have good intelligence about the business you’re in then you could be in trouble,” he said.

“Some Swan Valley growers have been growing the wrong fruit for years but receiving unrealistically high prices for it.”

Mr Edmonds said the oversupply ultimately would cause the big brands to offer price discounts.

“It will be a bumper season for consumers of premium wines,” he said.

“The volume blowout will be in the $10 to $15 price range and there are some stunning wines available in that price category now.”

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