With Australia suffering its worst ever grape glut a new initiative has been unveiled to help drain the country's wine lake.
In a move dubbed "assisted euthanasia", vineyard owners have been given access to a set of tools to help them decide whether their business is viable.
With at least 20% of vineyards considered surplus to requirements, it is hoped that many will decide to grub up.
The tools, available from January 30, are part of an A$750,000 package announced by the GWRDC - the industry's main research and development body in November. They include a checklist, "a Vinebiz program" to determine vineyard profitability and an "upgraded Deloitte's Ready Reckoner" that promises "to access winery profitability by market, channel and price point."
Yet speaking to harpers.co.uk, Professor Mike Veseth of the wineeconomist blog was doubtful the initiative would work. "Presumably this will reveal to them that they need to get out of the business, though I'm not sure they're as ignorant of their plight as the authorities seem to think."
As one grower told the Sydney Morning Herald; "Everyone says we have to shrink the crop. But who's going to pull up their vines first?"
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