Australia's legion of small wineries, burdened by the harshest tax regime imposed on wine producers anywhere in the world, finally have a little relief.

From 1 October they will gain a reduction in the so-called WET, wine equalisation tax, which adds 41% to the retail price of every bottle and which has made local shelf prices no cheaper than those on overseas markets.

From 1 October all producers will be eligible for a WET exemption on the first A$1 m US$696,000) of wholesale sales. This equates to A$290,000 (US$200,000) on sales.