Millions of vines are being destroyed in Australia and tens of millions more must be pulled up to rein in overproduction that has crushed grape prices and threatens the livelihoods of growers and wine makers.

Falling consumption of wine worldwide has hit Australia particularly hard as demand shrinks fastest for the cheaper reds that are its biggest product, and in China, the market it has relied on for growth until recent years.

The world's fifth largest exporter of wine had more than 2 billion liters, or about two years' worth of production, in storage in mid-2023, the most recent figures show, and some is spoiling as owners rush to dispose of it at any price.