Prices offered in a number of major wine regions this year were not enough to cover the cost of growing the crop and vines have since been removed.
The Riverina Winegrapes Marketing Board in (RWGMB) southern New South Wales represents more than 300 growers in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and surrounding districts.
RWMG CEO Brian Simpson said many of its members were stretched financially from years of low prices.
However, he is encouraged by early price signals.
“The domestic focused wineries, once one moves, they’re all going to jump and they’re all going to push to increase,” he said.
“They think $25, $50, $70 a tonne will get more fruit walking up to their weighbridge and that’s what they want.
The Riverina is home to some of Australia’s largest family-owned wineries including Casella Family Brands, McWilliams Wines and DeBortoli Wines.
Mr Simpson said growers should not rush to lock in prices just yet.
“Wineries are talking about moderately more for price,” he said
“There will be good demand coming into the 2017 season.
“If you’ve got available fruit, maybe you want to pause and speak to a couple of buyers before you make a decision to lock it in.
“But when you do lock it in, do it with a contract and make sure you’re happy with the terms of payment with that contract.”
He said the removal of Del Rios, one of Australia’s largest vineyards in Mildura, which produced around 25,000 tonnes of fruit, would make a difference to supply.
“That’s created a lot of air space in tanks and we’ve seen demand there, with people ringing us up and saying ‘is there any available fruit ?’
“I’m currently surveying our growers to see what’s available so we can start communicating with wineries about what we do have that they can actually start bidding for.”
ABC Rural – Laurissa Smith