Australia is on course for another record grape harvest, according to winemakers. This year's haul could push storage capacity and trigger a fresh export drive.

Hardy Wine Co managing director David Woods said his company's grape intake would probably be about 10% above last year's crush of 329,350 tonnes.

McGuigan Simeon Wines chief executive Brian McGuigan, meanwhile, said his company's intake was forecast to be between 250,000 and 260,000 tonnes this year, compared with 245,000 tonnes in 2004.

The chief executive of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, Stephen Strachan, said projections were for a vintage either in line with, or slightly ahead of, last year's record grape harvest of 1.86m tonnes.

"It will be a challenge for us, given the level of stocks around already," he said. "The potential silver lining is that exports have been picking up again."