Things are certainly happening in the Australian wine industry as producers there battle their image of primarily producing retail-destined wine.
Firstly a group of 12 families has formed Australia’s First Families of Wine, representing 20% of Australia’s wine sales, to promote premium and super-premium Australian wines. The group will spend between R4m and R5m to promote the wines, with the campaign starting early next year in UK, followed by Australia, the US and China.
Australia’s First Families of Wine chairman, Tahbilk chief executive, Alister Purbrick, told Decanter the group was formed because of increasingly negative comments about Australia only producing ‘sunshine in a bottle’ wines and not fine wines.
“Strict criteria has been set for membership, including ownership for at least two or more generations, icon brands which can support 20-year vertical tastings, and ownership of vineyards more than 50 years old,” the magazine reported.
Member wineries include 160-year-old Yalumba Wines. Other members are Brown Brothers, Campbells, d’Arenberg, De Bortoli, Henschke, Howard Park, Jim Barry, McWilliam’s, Tahbilk, Taylors and Tyrrell’s
In a second development, there appears to be dissent in Australia’s wine export marketing campaign with Australian Vintage threatening to withdraw from the UK program saying that the marketing strategy was flawed because “it was focussing on regionality rather than style and variety”.
Lisa McGovern, Wine Australia’s UK director, disagreed and told Decanter “the Wine Australia program is not exclusively centred on regionality and we are aware that communicating Australia’s stylistic evolution is key to maintaining trade and consumer interest.”