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Aussie wine producers are on the increase

The number of Australian wine producers is on the increase despite all the recent concerns over drought and water restrictions. Even taking closures and mergers into account, this year’s Australian and New Zealand Wine Industry Directory showed over 150 more wine producers, bringing the total to 2,299.

These new producers, however, look to be joining a challenging market, not least because of the weather issues. Most Australian wine producers are small, and statistics show that the vast majority of them are competing for just 10% of sales. This is because around 20 large wine companies in Australia account for a massive 90% of them, both domestically and abroad.

But with the latest Australian wine export figures from the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) showing a strong downturn in bulk and soft-pack shipments, which dropped 30% and 45% respectively, while bottle volumes increased 4%, the suggestion is that small producers wanting to make quality wines are more likely to find a market. In fact, the AWBC export profile shows that regionally distinct and fine wines are making an impression on global consumers to the point where they account for 12% of total value of Australia’s wine exports. Wines from Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Margaret River and Coonawarra Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are particularly cited as helping to improve this export profile.

Overall, volume-wise, Australian wine exports fell 7% to March this year and value was down too, falling 2% to A$2.85 billion (£1.3bn).

The UK is still the top export market for Aussie wine both by volume and value, in spite of value dropping 1% to A$936 million (£439m) in the past 12 months. Volumes, on the other hand, grew 3% to 278 million litres.

Looking forward, Melissa Worthington, Marketing and Communications Manager at Wine Australia UK, believes things look very positive for Australian wine here. She told ThirtyFifty, ‘People are looking at this market and are being calculated in approaching it this year. As a result, we’ll get better wines and a much better export plan of attack. And, ultimately, consumers are going to benefit.’