THE wine industry is the latest horticultural sector to hit financial ruin.
South Australian-based company Barossa Valley Estate has entered receivership on its 41ha vineyard after amassing debts of about $20 million.
BVE was given over to receivers McGrath Nicol recently, with many grape-grower shareholders left unpaid for much of their 2012 crops.
It followed a string of major wineries entering receivership late last year.
BVE is one of 18 South Australian vineyards currently listed for sale.
According to a new Rabobank report, the Australian dollar and increasing competition from overseas markets continued to place pressure on wine companies during the final quarter of last year.
Rabobank Australia senior analyst Marc Soccio said wine companies of all shapes and sizes were not as profitable as they would like.
"A lot of them have lost export markets because of the high dollar and haven't been able to pick up sales domestically because of the competitive environment, and are really struggling," Mr Soccio said.
Other South Australian listings include the Coonawarra Premium Vineyards Project No.1 and 2, with a massive 309ha and a strong winemaking reputation.
Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale, Noble Road Vineyard in Waikerie and boutique winery Nicarel Estate in the Adelaide Hills are also up for sale.
Vineyards such as Craigie Knowe Vineyard and Homestead on the Tasmanian east coast are on the market for $800,000, for 5ha of vineyards and a bed and breakfast.
One 13ha vineyard in the Victorian Pyrenees region is on the market for about $750,000.
There has also been rampant speculation that Australian winemaker Treasury Wines Estates is up for sale. TWE is the second-biggest winemaker in the world, heading 54 labels including prestige label Penfolds, and has been tipped to go to Chinese company Bright Foods.