There are a lot of challenges growing wine grapes in Tasmania, but the rewards balance these out. Wine grapes are in high demand but the vineyard area is being expanded at a steady pace. There seems to be a positive story wherever you look. Nathan Gogoll reports.
THE PAST TWO vintage reports from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia provide an insight into the parallel universe that Tasmania operates in. While many regions across the country battled with unprofitability in 2014 and 2015, this year 99 per cent of Tassie’s grape production was declared profitable – which almost matched the previous year’s 100 per cent strike rate.
Demand outstrips supply on the island and grape prices are high, but they have to be, because it is not an easy or cheap place to grow grapes.
There are about 1800Ha of wine grapes planted across Tasmania (including new, non-bearing vines) and this figure has jumped by between 250 and 300Ha in the past five years.
The average crush across the past five years has been 8,500 tonnes, but the largest single season saw close to 12,000 tonnes crushed.
There are 160 licensed producers, of which three-quarters crush less than 100 tonnes.