Industry at a glance
Australia’s warm, dry summers and deep, rich soils provide an excellent environment for growers to produce world-class table grapes. Valued at more than $880 million (2018/19), the table grape industry is the highest valued fresh fruit export in Australia.
Our growers produced almost 200,000 tonnes of table grapes last year across 25,000 hectares of grapes, with 65% grown for export to an increasing number of countries and the remaining 35% consumed domestically. History Grapes have changed the world. As one of the oldest edible plants, archaeological evidence suggests grapes were cultivated as early as 6500 BC, during the Neolithic period.
There are now more than 10,000 grape varieties known worldwide in the Vitaceae family, although grape vines are not native to Australia. The first vines arrived in Australia along with Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet in 1788, from Brazil and the Cape of Good Hope, and were planted at Farm Cove (Wuganmagulya) in Sydney.
While the crops did not bear fruit, the introduction of grape vines established a trajectory for grape production which has grown exponentially over the past 230 years. Grape production (wine, table and dried) is now the largest fruit industry in Australia, with grapes grown commercially in every state and territory (though most production occurs in the temperate region).
The table grape industry has experienced significant expansion over the past 30 years, with production increasing from almost 70,000 tonnes in 1999 to almost 200,000 tonnes in 2020. Growing regions Australia’s geographical spread of production allows for a number of major growing regions. Green/white, red and black varieties of grapes are produced by 1000 growers in the major growing regions of Sunraysia (Mildura and Robinvale) in Victoria, and also throughout South-Eastern Queensland.
Other growing regions include Carnarvon and the Swan Valley in Western Australia, the Riverina district in Central New South Wales, the South Australian Riverland, and central Northern Territory.