23 Fascinating Australian Wine Industry Statistics (Infographic)

In need of some Australian wine industry statistics for your next party? We’ve got plenty. 

Wine production in Australia dates back to the early days of European settlement, when settlers brought grapevines with them from Europe. Since then, it has consistently grown, producing high-quality wines that are enjoyed by wine lovers around the world. 

Today, Australia has a storied and especially interesting wine sector, full of quotable factoids. Here are 23 statistics and facts that help paint a picture of this fascinating industry.

1. The Aussie wine industry is worth almost $6 billion annually.

Wine is a major contributor to the country’s economy, worth an estimated $5.86 billion annually.

With the help of government entities like Wine Australia, the industry has come a long way in recent years, with Australian wine production now focused on quality rather than quantity. This has led to an increase in demand for Australian wine, both domestically and internationally.

2. There are over 2,500 wineries across Australia.

Australia is one of the world’s top wine-producing countries, with over 2,500 wineries spread across the continent. The country’s diverse climate and soil types provide the perfect conditions for a wide variety of grapevines. And Australian wines have won numerous awards in international competitions.

Australian Wine Industry Statistics: Map of Australian Wine Regions and Wineries
Map of Australian Wine Regions and Sub-Regions. / Image Courtesy: Austwine.net

3. Australian wineries produce 1.3 billion liters of wine per year.

Any industry statistics followed by the word “billion” are worth our attention. The 1.3 billion liters of wine produced in 2022 is equivalent to 343 million gallons. 

Australian Wine Industry Statistics: Australian Wine Production by Year
Australian Wine Production by Year, 2005-2017. / Source: WineAustralia.com

4. The average wine drinker in Australia consumes around 28 liters of wine each year.

Aussies love their wine and the statistics show it. In fact, Australia consistently ranks in the top 10 countries in per capita consumption. In 2021, they ranked sixth. (Respect.) 

The Gozhda video below shows the top nations in per capita consumption since 1961. By 2005, (2:14) Australia cracks into the top 15. Then watch as they float to the top 10 by 2009 (2:26). Their growing wine industry is a huge part of the growth in consumption.

5. Around 55% of the wine produced in Australia is red wine.

The most popular varieties are Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The climate in Australia is well-suited for growing red grapes, and the soils are rich in minerals. This imparts a unique flavor to the wines. All of this is ideal for high-quality red wine production.

6. Almost 60% of the wine produced in Australia is from South Australia.

The state’s diverse climate and terrain allow for a wide range of grape varieties to be grown, and it is home to some of the country’s most celebrated Australian wine regions, including the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. One example of a global vintner based in South Australia is Treasury Wine Estates. The next three biggest producers are Victoria (25%), New South Wales (10%), and Western Australia (5%).

Australian Wine Industry Statistics: Detailed Map of Australian Wine Regions
This detailed map of Australian wine regions shows the dominance of South Australia. / Source: WineFolly.com

7. Only 0.5% of the wine produced in Australia is certified organic or biodynamic.

While this sector of the Australian wine industry has grown over time, it still comprises a tiny fraction of total production and sales.

Organic wine production uses only organically grown grapes. Biodynamic wine production adheres to even stricter standards, including using lunar cycles to determine when to plant and harvest. 

Many Australian wineries are certified sustainable, organic, or biodynamic, and are popular with consumers who want to support eco-friendly businesses. 

8. The most planted grape variety in Australia is Shiraz (18%), followed by Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Shiraz is a variety of red wine that originated in Persia. Today, it is widely cultivated in Australia, where it accounts for around 18% of all wine production.

The Australian version is typically full-bodied and deeply colored, with flavors of blackberry, plum, and pepper. It is often made in a style that is slightly sweeter and more approachable than traditional European wines. As a result, it has become one of the most popular types of red wine in the world.

Australian Wine Industry Statistics: Top Wine Varietals Produced in Australia
Top Wine Varietals Produced in Australia. Shiraz is still the most, despite a recent decrease. / Source: WineAustralia.com

9. Australia is the 6th largest exporter of wine in the world, behind only Italy, Spain, France, and Chile.

In terms of the percentage of the global wine market that each country controls, Australia is significantly ahead of the United States. 

According to figures from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV), Australia accounted for around 7% of global wine exports (by volume) in 2020. The United States had a market share of just over 3%. 

Australian Wine Industry Statistics: Top Global Wine Exporters 2022, Share by Volume
Top Global Wine Exporters 2022, Share by Volume. / Source: BKWine.com

10. The United Kingdom is Australia’s biggest export market for wine, followed by China and the United States.

The United Kingdom is Australia’s biggest export market for wine, followed by China and the United Kingdom. In terms of value, the UK accounts for almost 25% of Australia’s wine exports. The U.S. sits at about 20%, while China makes up about 12%.

Exports were hit hard during the pandemic, particularly to mainland China.

Australian Wine Industry Statistics: Australian Wine Exports Report, Top Export Markets for Australian Wine
This export report graphic shows the top export markets for Australian Wine. / Source: WineAustralia.com

11. Around one third of the wine produced in Australia is exported.

In terms of volume, the US is still the largest export market for Australian wine, followed by the UK. The Chinese market is growing rapidly in both value and volume, and is now the third largest export market for Australian wine. These three markets account for around three-quarters of all Australian wine exports.

12. Australian wine exports are valued at $2 billion in 2021 (Wine Australia)

The pandemic took a toll on Australian wine exports, especially to mainland China. But the country still exports a whopping $2 billion worth of wine annually. 

Only 18% of the wine consumed in Australia is imported wine. (Wine Australia)

This amounts to 27 million gallons (103 million liters) of imported wine buys in the country. This reflects the Aussie tendency to consume their own wine versus imports.

Australia exports 70 million gallons (263 million liters) of white wine per year. (Wine Australia)

This amounts to almost 40% of total exports. Considering a big chunk of white wine production stays in Australia, that means a lot of Rieslings and Chardonnays are being cranked out. It’s clear both international trade and the domestic market are strong for Australian vintners.

The Australian government invested $1.8 million in their industry in 2022.

This investment, made through the Agricultural Trade and Market Acccess Cooperation (ATMAC) program will help push international trade demand for Australian wine and reflects previous investments made through entities like the Winemakers Federation and Wine Australia.

13. The average vineyard in Australia covers around 5 hectares.

The average vineyard in Australia covers around 5 hectares, and most growers use traditional methods. This includes hand-pruning and using organic fertilizers to encourage growth. 

14. There are around 160,000 people employed in the industry.

Aussie wine is a thriving sector of the economy, employing over 160,000 people. The majority of these workers are employed in vineyards, where they tend to the grapevines and ensure that the grapes are of the highest quality. 

Others are employed in wineries, where they oversee the wine production process and package the finished product. The industry also provides many opportunities for indirect employment, such as transportation, marketing, and tourism.

15. The Barossa Valley is home to over 50% of Australia’s total Shiraz vines.

The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s most famous wine regions, and it is home to a large percentage of the country’s Shiraz. The area has a long history of grape growing, and the region’s climate is ideal for this varietal. 

In recent years, the Barossa Valley has become especially well-known for its Old Vine wines, which are made from vines over 35 years old. These are more complex than younger wines, highly prized by collectors and enthusiasts.

Australian wine industry statistics - Map showing location of Barossa Valley wine region.
Map showing location of Barossa Valley wine region. / Courtesy: WineFolly

16. McLaren Vale is home to the world’s oldest living grapevine, which was planted in 1843.

Known as the “Mother Vine”, it is still producing grapes today. McLaren Vale is situated in the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia, and is one of the country’s most important wine regions.

Australian Wine Industry statistics, map showing location of MacLaren Vale region.
Map showing location of MacLaren Vale region. / Courtesy: Wine-Pages.com

17. The Hunter Valley is home to the country’s oldest continuously operating winery, Tyrell’s Wines, which was established in 1858.

Tyrell’s has been at the forefront of Australian wine production for over 150 years. The family-owned winery is best known for its Semillon and Shiraz varietals, which have won numerous awards both domestically and internationally. Today, Tyrell’s Wines is run by the fifth generation of the Tyrell family, and their commitment to quality and tradition continues to set them apart as one of Australia’s premier wineries.

Australian Wine Industry statistics. Map showing location of Hunter Valley wine region.
Map showing location of Hunter Valley wine region. / Courtesy: Wine-Pages.com

18. The Clare Valley is home to the world’s oldest Riesling vines, which were planted in 1847.

They were planted in 1847 by Johann Gramp, and they have been producing high-quality fruit ever since. The Clare Valley is renowned for its Riesling, and the Gramp’s vineyard is one of the most celebrated in the region and the country.

19. Australia’s oldest wine region is the Swan Valley, which was established in 1829.

Australia’s Swan Valley is home to some of the oldest vineyards in the industry. The region was established in 1829 by a group of settlers from Cape Colony in South Africa. Today, the Swan Valley is home to over 30 wineries, producing a wide variety of wines. 

The mild climate and rich soils of the valley are ideal for growing grapes. And the nearby city of Perth provides a ready market. The Swan Valley is also a popular tourist destination, with visitors coming to taste the wines, tour the vineyards, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the valley.

20. The Coonawarra wine region is home to over 50 wineries.

The Coonawarra wine region is world-renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon. The regional climate is ideal for red wine production, and the soils of the Coonawarra are rich in terra rosa, a type of clay that imparts unique characteristics to the wines. The first vines were planted in the area in 1891 by viticulturist James Henry Halliday. 

Australian Wine Industry Statistics, Map showing Coonawarra wine region.
Map showing Coonawarra wine region. / Courtesy: BestWinesUnder20.com.au

21. The Great Western wine region is home to some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world, which were planted in 1847.

Great Western is in the southwest corner of the country, and it enjoys a Mediterranean climate that is perfect for grape-growing. The region is home to some of the oldest vineyards in Australia, and it produces a wide variety of wines, from rich reds to crisp white wines. 

The Great Western region is also known for its innovative winemaking, and they make many of the most acclaimed wines in the industry there. 

22. Tasmania is the fastest growing region, with wine production increasing by over 50% in the past decade.

This relatively young wine region has been experiencing rapid growth in recent years. The majority of Tasmania’s wine production is focused on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and the cool climate of the island is ideal for growing these grape varieties. 

Tasmania is also known for its sustainability practices.

23. The wine tourism industry in Australia is worth $1.5 billion a year.

This figure includes both direct spending by tourists on wine-related activities such as winery tours and tastings, and indirect spending on things like accommodation and dining. 

Wine tourism is a significant driver of economic activity in many regions of Australia, particularly in rural areas.

Conclusion

The industry in Australia is thriving, with wine production increasing in all regions of the country. This exponential growth delivers eye-grabbing statistics every year and will be sure to do so for years to come.

As more and more people visit its diverse wine regions, the tourism dollars are sure to balloon, as well. This means more jobs and the increasing importance of Australian wine to local and regional economies.