Most of Australia’s dried grapes are grown in the Sunraysia region of northwest Victoria and southwest New South Wales. Small quantities are also produced in the Riverland region of South Australia and in Western Australia.
The success of the industry was built on the ideal combination of hot weather, arable soils and good water supply from the Murray River.
Today, more than 300 growers produce dried grapes from about 3,500 hectares of irrigated land. The main grape varieties grown for drying are sultana, Sunmuscat, Sunglo, Carina and Black Gem currants, and raisins.
Australian grapes are dried naturally, without the use of sulphur. The sun slowly removes moisture from the fruit and the goodness is sealed in.
It takes more than 4kg of fresh grapes to produce 1kg of dried fruit.