1
   

Glut makes Australian wine cheaper than water

 
 
Reyn
 
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 05:48 pm
Glut makes Australian wine cheaper than water

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian wine is being sold off cheaper than water, as a glut of grapes pushes the cost of a bottle to below two dollars.

Bumper harvests for three straight years have led to a massive oversupply, with up to a billion litres of unsold wine in storage tanks across the country.

Leading winemakers have seen their shares tumble and many grape growers could be forced out of business.

But for the consumer, it means quality wines are available at a fraction of the normal price as producers move their excess stock in unlabelled bottles known as cleanskins.

"There are more wine bargains around that I have ever seen," said Shane Tremble, merchandise manager for liquor retailer BWS, who has been in the industry for 30 years.

"There is no doubt that the glut is forcing down prices," he told AFP.

Last week, BWS, which stands for beer, wine and spirits, offered a six-bottle pack of 2006 unwooded Chardonnay for 11.93 dollars (8.93 US dollars) -- and quickly sold out.

Tremble said the cleanskin hailed from Mildura, a famous wine growing region in Victoria which boasts big names like Lindemans and Deakin Estate.

A near record grape crush in 2006 meant the wine "would otherwise have ended up on the ground," he said. "We were able to put together a product at a price point that has not been seen for many years."

The Dan Murphy's superstore chain owned by Woolworths is offering a 2005 Cabernet Merlot for just 1.95 dollars a bottle -- this time a cleanskin from southeast Australia. Bottled water sells for around 3.0 dollars a litre.

Adam Jenkins, senior business manager in wine with Dan Murphy's, said it was the cheapest retail price he had seen.

"I have never seen wine sold sub two dollars before," he told AFP, adding that even branded wines were selling at five dollars a bottle due to competitive market conditions.

The prices are reminiscent of the "Two Buck Chucks" in the United States, when a glut of Californian grapes in 2003 allowed a company called Charles Shaw Wines to sell bottles for 1.99 US dollars.

Cleanskin was a term originally applied to unbranded livestock. But it is now synonymous with wine whose label does not identify the maker.

Cleanskins were often of questionable quality and mere "bin ends," as almost every drop of quality wine was used to feed the growing export market.

In the mid-1990s growers embarked on a massive planting program as they tried to catch up with global demand for so-called "new world" wines.

But some believe overplanting has tipped the balance too far, and above average yields for the past three years have drowned the industry in grapes.

The crisis has left up to a billion litres unsold in storage tanks -- more than the entire industry's annual export output.

But the glut has seen the quality of cleanskins improve dramatically as leading winemakers compete to get their excess stock onto the shelves.

"Without doubt it is a good time to be a consumer. There are a lot of good bargains in high quality wines," said Simon Birmingham, director of the Winemakers' Federation of Australia.

"It is a cycle that is putting significant margin pressure on wineries, but it is a good opportunity for consumers to stock up their cellars."

However, Birmingham doubted the current low prices in Australia were sustainable.

"These types of prices are certainly extremely low, but I think they are a short term offer that consumers can take advantage of."
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,735 • Replies: 12
No top replies

 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 05:56 pm
I've liked the australian wines I've tried.
I've liked the chilean wines I've tried.
I've liked the spanish wines I've tried.
I've loved many but not all of the italian wines I've tried.
I've loved many many of the french wines I've tried.
I'm crazy for much California wine.
Have branched out to liking some Washington state and Oregon wines.
Next to try - New York state wines, and New Mexico wines.

I like buying local, but then I was from Caliifornia... spoiled brat.

Sorry if there is a glut, meaning I'm sorry for individual vineyard folk in Australia who might be trying hard to make it.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:02 pm
You know, you may not believe me, but I figured if only one person were to read and reply to this thread it was going to be....Osso. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:04 pm
Boy, it's not cheap where I buy.


Though I have seen a large cask of cheap cleanskin chardonnay there...
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:11 pm
Perhaps it depends on the type of grape it is?

Pardon if that's a dumb question, as I know zilch about wine and grapes.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:12 pm
Grins to Reyn...

Cleanskin?
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:16 pm
ossobuco wrote:
Grins to Reyn...

Cleanskin?



No winery/company label.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:18 pm
Ah, so.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:18 pm
So, these would be grapes coming from "Mom and Pop" operations then?
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:22 pm
I've had some great Australian wines.

I need to hit the supermarket pronto if they're selling it for cheaper than water.

On a side note -- a perky news anchor here breathlessly reported that because of global warming Oregon could become the new Napa!

Wow! Such good news!

Or not.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:25 pm
Reyn wrote:
So, these would be grapes coming from "Mom and Pop" operations then?


Probably not...probably wine sold very cheaply by established wineries, to make some profit from them, but keeping their own labels' values up.

Often cleanskins sold here are great.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jul, 2006 06:32 pm
Yeh, I glanced at something in the last week or so re Napa and Sonoma being in trouble if it heats up, something about sugar breakdown in the grapes...

I want to do some California vineyard paintings, because they are beautiful to me, even though those areas are said to be overplanted re one main crop. I like there to be a backstory to landscape paintings, something about man in the landscape or that the land is ever more precious, even though no one looking at the painting would make that mental jump. Not to go off all about me, but the warming does add piquance to what have been pastoral scenes of rich beauty.
0 Replies
 
barrythemod
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jul, 2006 01:15 am
Due to the popularity of the wines from Australia and the USA (California),France also has a "wine mountain",and it has been decided,through some clever chemical means,to turn it into petrol (gas).
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

You whine, I wyne, we all Wine - Discussion by Seed
Wine...your favourite plonk? - Discussion by shepaints
new to wine HELP - Question by KnewTwoWine
Wine Talk - Discussion by ossobuco
Two-Buck Chuck? We hardly knew ye! - Discussion by tsarstepan
Enjoyed dinner at Fish Market Restaurant - Question by cicerone imposter
What is the best red wine? - Question by cicerone imposter
Gotta share this one - Question by cicerone imposter
Tsarstepan's Wine Spot - Discussion by tsarstepan
Acceptable everyday table wine - Discussion by glitterbag
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Glut makes Australian wine cheaper than water
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/02/2022 at 03:37:38