Arneis is a white grape variety that originated in the Piedmont region of Italy. The term ‘Arneis’ means little rascal in Piemontese. It has been named so since it is a bit difficult to cultivate. Although it has been grown in Italy for centuries, its popularity in Australia only began in the 21st century. Below are some statistics that depict the growth and production of Arneis in Australian wine regions for the year 2016.
Out of a total of 135,000 ha, 40 hectares were planted with the Arneis variety. 96.4% of these 40 hectares was the total bearing area of this variety. No new Arneis grapevines were planted in 2016.
In 2016, a total of 1,608,000 tonnes of grapes were crushed. The crushing of Arneis grapes amounted to 300 tonnes. Two thirds of these grapes were cultivated in cool climate regions, while the remaining portion was grown in warm inland regions of Australia.
Arneis Wine Regions in Australia
The top 5 Aussie regions for Arneis production include – Riverina and Riverland, contributing 23% and 22% respectively; Adelaide Hills with a share of 15%; King Valley providing 10%; and lastly, the McLaren Vale region growing 7% of the grapes.
0.02 million litres of Arneis wines were exported to international markets in 2016, which is an increase of about 109% over last year. Belgium imported the largest share of Aussie Arneis wines, amounting to 57%. Japan and the UK imported 17% and 13% respectively; China purchased 6%; and New Zealand procured just 2% of the total share.
Most of the Arneis wines sold (59%) lie in the range of $7.50/L to $9.99/L. Wines lying in the range of $10/L to $19.99/L sold 19%, and those falling in the range of $5/L to $7.50/L sold approximately 17%. Arneis wines in the price bracket of $2.50/L to $4.99/L sold just 5%.