Scan reveals SA boasts 51 p.c of Australian vineyards

Vineyards: South Australia is home to 51% of Australia's vineyards. McLaren Vale has an estimated 6,999 hectares of vineyards.
Vineyards: South Australia is home to 51% of Australia's vineyards. McLaren Vale has an estimated 6,999 hectares of vineyards.

Results of a new scan undertaken in 2018 has revealed the size of vineyards around Australia, including McLaren Vale; the scan also showed how many hectares of Australia are covered by vineyards.

The process which was completed using a computer algorithm to scan a collection of aerial images of vineyards across Australia, is helping to develop a better understanding of the wine industry.

The scan which has replaced an old process by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that Australia boasts 146,128 hectares of vineyards, of which, 51% or 74,521 hectares are in South Australia.

Within local areas it was revealed that McLaren Vale contains 6999 hectares, the Fleurieu has 14,919 hectares and the Southern Fleurieu adds a further 476 hectares to the vineyards which could be considered within the Southern Vales region.

Wine Australia Analyst Sandy Hathaway said that the scan is important to the wine industry because it helps develop an understanding of the supply base. Ensuring that they are meeting demand and not going into over supply.

"What we've now got (that the ABS could not supply) is the geo-location," she said.

"That gives you additional functionality, bio-security for example, land management applications and water management applications."

Wine Australia are now looking for a way to efficiently require vine variety details.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the National Vineyard Scan was very accurate, with 95 percent matching of vineyards compared with human identifications in test samples.

"This scan provides the sector with a very good baseline for follow-up surveys that will be carried out over the next two years." Mr Clark added that the last ABS survey reported an area of vineyards at 135,133 hectares, about eight percent less than the Vineyard Scan found. However, this increase may not be accurate as the two methods of acquiring the data are very different and more work needs to be completed to narrow this down.