Production of Australian wine will continue to increase in 2002 according to figures from The Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics (ABARE).

Output in 2002 is expected to be 11% higher than first forecast with wine production reaching 1.42m tonnes.

According to local reports, the boost is due partly to weather conditions and new vines coming into production earlier than expected. The bureau said that for the first time in ten years, red wine volumes will be above white varieties.

However, despite the predictions of another record year ABARE says wine grape production will slow in all regions by 2004.

It says the upward trend will not continue because of a decline in new plantings over the past two years, partly because of a lack of suitable land.