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WA wine reputation grows
WA wine reputation grows

The WA wine industry is taking a glass half-full view of its future despite the findings of an international study which predicts a big fall in Australian production over the next five years.

WA Wine Industry Association general manager Aymee Mastaglia said yesterday that production was likely to remain stable.

However, a run of excellent vintages was set to enhance the State's reputation for high-quality wines.

"We only produce about 4 per cent of the nation's wine but what we do produce contributes a lot of quality," Mrs Mastaglia said.

"Since 2007 there has been downward pressure on yields because of an oversupply. WA was affected by that but not to the extent of some regions and we are optimistic that we are coming out of that stage."

Mrs Mastaglia said demand for grapes had increased recently in a positive sign of the industry, worth about $380 million a year to the WA economy.

"We crush about 75,000 tonnes of grapes a year in WA and while demand and supply are starting to even out, I don't think growers will be looking to increase supply," she said.

Margaret River Wine Industry Association chief executive Nick Power said he expected yields from vineyards in the region to remain in the 30,000 to 35,000 tonne range over the next few years.

An MRWIA report released last week said climate recordings similar to those leading up to last year's vintage should prove an ideal platform as growers prepared to begin harvesting this month.

The International Wine and Spirit Research study commissioned by Vinexpo tipped Australian wine production to fall by 14.7 per cent over the next five years compared with the previous five. It forecast a world-wide production decline of just 2.3 per cent.

"Australia for two decades has showed incredible growth around the world but is plateauing now and there's an adjustment on the production side which is totally normal," Vinexpo chairman Xavier de Eizaguirre said.

Vinexpo, the world's biggest wine fair, will be held in Bordeaux in June.