The Winemakers Federation of Australia (WFA) has compared the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2012 wine production figures as being in line with its Vintage Report released in July 2012.

According to the ABS data, since 2010, the Australian vines area decreased by six percent to 145,000ha due to poor market conditions, while total wine grape production increased by three percent to 1.6 million tonnes primarily due to favourable seasonal conditions.

Among the wines, red wine production decreased by five percent to 806,000 tonnes, primarily due to unfavourable rain conditions in southern and eastern Australia, whereas the white wine production increased by 13% to 776,000 tonnes.

The ABS data also showed that Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for around two thirds of the total wine production and stood again as the popular wine varieties.

Reacting to the ABS data, WFA president Tony D’Aloisio said oversupply of grapes and wine was probably the contributing factor to the profitability issues the wine industry had faced in the past few years.

"The Federation has been urging the industry to reassess the size and mix of its vineyards in recent years and these figures confirm the reports we have heard of action being taken," D’Aloisio added.

"Our focus now must be to ensure that we are keeping the right vineyards in the right places to meet our emerging demand opportunities and to improve our profitability performance.

"The industry does need to be conscious of the potential for grape production to rise again to unsustainable levels, even with reduced areas under vine, if we see a return to the higher yields of recent years."