It's Ground Hog Day. Every summer now, the minute the radios cease keeping us awake playing Silent Night the winegrape growers of the Murray Mallee begin a great howl of grief about their rattly future.
Politicians taxed the huge brandy business into oblivion in the 'seventies, so the white grapes that had gone into the stills suddenly became white wine, although the technology for sound and stable white had barely evolved.
But then the Chardonnay grape had come from Champagne and Burgundy, where there is much higher background humidity than the Australian Mallee, and it also, er, snows.
Their contents are on a par with the thousands of huge bladder packs now standard for export: one bag per shipping container, pumped full and bloody shipped, mate. Bottled in bloody Blighty, mate. Ew.
And regardless of the Abbott regime's confounding attitudes, cutting irrigators' costs by providing cheaper water is a tricky business when there's not enough water in the River.