Australian wine producers have been warned that to survive they need to learn how to market their wine.

Forecasting an acceleration of industry rationalisation, Franklin Tate, chairman of the WA Wine Industry Association marketing committee believes that between 20 and 40 producers could be in trouble in the next two to three years.

According to local press reports Tate said in the past decade the emphasis has been on production. "If you had good wines for sale, somebody would buy them. Now you have to be able to sell to survive.

"That is a challenge. The game has changed. It is now assumed that everyone has good wines to sell," he added.

Tate recommended that small producers should learn how to sell and join industry promotions of WA wines. He also said grape growers should not seek unrealistic prices given the marketing situation and economic outlook, especially where crops were not up to standard.