Growers in South Australia’s Riverland are being urged to drop their grapes rather than sell them for low prices and add to the wine surplus.

The Riverland Wine Grape Growers Association warns that at prices of less than AU$200 per tonne, growers’ returns will not be enough to cover harvest and freight costs.

Chris Byrne of the Association told ABC the better option may be for growers not to sell their grapes at all.

‘Towards the end of vintage when the pressure has come off and the harvesters have some capacity to do this then it would be much better to run the harvester

quickly over the vines and drop them on the ground,’ he said.

‘It’s not only better for the growers in terms of cost, but it’s better that we don’t continue to fill the tanks of wineries, so at the beginning of next season we have an inevitable surplus report once again.’

Written by Adam Lechmere, and agencies