State and Regional overview

The total reported crush of South Australian winegrapes in 2016 was 817,981 tonnes. This was an increase of 14% above the 2015 harvest of 716,592 tonnes. Nationally, there was an estimated non-response rate of 10.0%; however a specific non-response rate for South Australia is not known.

Over the previous five years (from 2011 – 2015), the average State production is 723,983 tonnes, with a low of 681,319 tonnes in 2013 and a high of 716,592 tonnes in 2015. The 2016 crush is up by 17% against the last five year average. It is the highest crush for the state since 2006.

The top three regions by volume in 2016 were the Riverland with 56% of the crush (456,988 tonnes), Langhorne Creek with 7.3% (60,119 tonnes) and the Barossa Valley with 6.6% (54,137 tonnes). Many regions had significant increases in tonnage, including Langhorne Creek (up by 54%), Padthaway (up by 77%), McLaren Vale (up by 44%) and Wrattonbully (up by 43%). The Adelaide Hills had an increase of 21% in tonnes, and the Barossa Valley 23%, while the Clare Valley was up by 30%. The Riverland increased its production by 1% on the 2015 vintage

The total estimated value of the crush was $581 million, up by $180 million (45%) compared with 2015. The average purchase value per tonne across the state increased from $577 in 2015 to $631 per tonne.

Varietal overview

The red crush produced 496,463 tonnes, which was 17% higher than the 2015 crush (422,776 tonnes) and 14% above the five year average (435,732 tonnes); whilst the white crush production increased by 9% to 321,518 tonnes, which is 10% above the five year average (292,092 tonnes).

Shiraz was up by 30,000 tonnes (12.5%) and accounted for 48% (239,594 tonnes) of the red crush, with Cabernet Sauvignon second at 30% (149,976 tonnes – up by 36,000 tonnes) and Merlot third at 9% (45,384 tonnes).

Among the white varieties, Chardonnay was up by 20,000 tonnes and accounted for 52% (166,136 tonnes) of the white production, with Sauvignon Blanc (11%) next and Colombard dropping by 5,000 tonnes and slipping from 11% to 8% of the white crush. Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio increased by nearly 4,000 tonnes – a 40% increase.

Note: changes to the methodology for the survey collection in 2015 mean that direct comparisons of tonnages and prices with previous years should be interpreted with caution.

Vineyard plantings

Planting data derived from the Vinehealth Australia1 vineyard register shows that there were 75,858 hectares planted to vines in South Australia as at 30 April 2016. This represents a decrease of 260 hectares since 2015. Although there have been net decreases in the previous four years in total planted area, the current area planted is 6,000 hectares higher than it was in 2004.

There was a total of 462 hectares (<1% of the total area) planted in spring 2015 (including top-working and replacements) compared with 864 hectares planted in the 2014-15 season. Of the new plantings, red varieties accounted for 86% compared with white varieties at 10% and tablegrapes at 4%. 50% of new plantings were Shiraz (231 ha) and 27% were Cabernet Sauvignon (231 ha).

There was a total of 3,394 growers registered with the Board as at 30 April 2016. This was slightly fewer than at the same time last year. 2,013 growers (59%) have properties smaller than 10 hectares and account for 11% of the total vineyard area, while 128 growers (4%) have properties larger than 100 hectares (in the same region) and account for 40% of the vineyard area.

State summary Historical winegrape crush South Australia 1997 – 2016