Australia: Trade Talk – How can Australia build its fine wine business in the UK-

Author: Patrick Schmitt
Source: The Drinks Business
Review Date: Jun 2010

Brian Croser

Founder and winemaker, Tapanappa

“The very public expose of the Australian wine industry’s problems continues. If someone in the UK industry doesn’t know of Australia’s oversupply problems and the deep discounting required to clear inventory they must be in the sort of place to which I would like to retire.

There’s one Australian wine industry, the branded commodity wine business, the usually achieves a final transaction off a supermarket shelf at a bargain price to a consumer expecting availability, consistency of quality, economy for everyday consumption and the comfort of a recognised brand.

Then there is Australia’s fine wine business. Approximately 2,300 small family producers scattered across the very diverse geography of southern Australia. Australia’s fine wine regions are planted on some of the oldest geologies and soils on the earth’s surface. Climates range from ripeness challenging cool, suitable only for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to the hot traditional Shiraz valleys and all in between. Australia’s regional vignerons are reaching the peak of their trade, caring for mature vineyards and sympathetically extracting the best qualities from their grapes. Australian fine wine has never been better.

It is this matrix of existing fine wine endeavour that must be exposed on a systematic basis to consumers in the UK to encourage them to reach for the affordable and very high quality fine wine that exists in Australia.

This will not be a quick process but can build on the established consciousness in the UK that Australia is a sophisticated and credible wine supplier.”

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