It’s a situation that has apparently been echoed all over Australia this vintage, with stories of vineyards unpicked, grape contracts cancelled and pointless prices paid for even quite good quality grapes.
But nowhere else has there been such an outward sign of just how bad the issue really is.
Suffice to say that it’s images like this, images that most punters will never see, that have even the good growers, the conscientious makers with old vines and strong mailing lists, worried. Worried that they could be the next ones to be plonking their grapes – or their wines – on the side of the road, vainly hoping that someone, anyone, will buy them.
Yet just like the endemic problems in the Australian wine industry, those fast desiccating, plump (it was a good season after all) roadside grapes aren’t going anywhere in a hurry.
It’s a crap time to be an Australian vigneron.