The Australian wine industry enjoyed spectacular export-oriented output growth for two decades from the early 1990s, before coming under pressure from exchange rate appreciation thanks to Australia’s booming mining sector.

Producers in some other Southern Hemisphere countries and North America also expanded their vineyard areas and upgraded the quality of their products. Meanwhile, Europe began to focus much more on what the consumer wants, but the European Union's policies continue to encourage excessive production. This led to a major over-supply situation globally, and a commensurate fall in prices paid to grape growers by wineries in numerous countries.

What were the key contributors to these extraordinary changes? What policy and industry responses are now required? What are the lessons for other agricultural and value-adding primary processing industries seeking to become more internationally competitive in a sustainable way?

The Centre's research program seeks answers to these and related questions from the perspectives of the Australian industry and globally. It uses a combination of analytical economic history (back to 1820) and formal projections modelling to 2025. Lessons are sought from previous booms, while model simulation results show the likely effects of various possible developments in domestic and export markets, and of alternative tax and other policy changes.

Key outputs from the research include comprehensive databases on the Australian and global wine markets and on what wine grape varieties are grown in the various wine regions of the world, plus purpose-built models for analysing issues of concern to the industry. Both are used to analyse a wide range of market and policy issues and to publish the results in economics and wine industry journals.