Essential Guide to Australia 2017

11 January, 2017

There is a sense that despite still being the dominant wine category in the UK, Australia has for some time been lying low and not fully realising its potential. Adverse exchange rates, greater competition from New (and Old) World rivals, the lure of more profitable export markets, plus a perhaps inevitable cooling off after the first great flush of pro-Aussie excitement have all taken their toll on the momentum of this country. But with industry confidence on the up, focus on the UK is on the rise again, and renewed interest has clearly been sparked among both UK buyers and commentators alike.

OLN SupplementSouth Africa 2016Australia is once again engaging and exciting with its fantastic medley of diverse and captivating wines. This is reflected in the way Australia is approaching the UK market. Wineries that lost listings are back, hungry for their rightful place on lists, while newcomers to the UK are also – significantly – knocking on the door. Meanwhile, the most recent figures reveal that Australia has been pushing up its value sales at all price levels above the entry point, suggesting that it is a good time to ensure that portfolios are primed to make the most of the only top-five wine category that is in growth.

What is more, the evolution in Australia over the past decade, from greater restraint and finesse among the classic styles, to the emergence of a ‘new wave’ of varieties, regions and styles, by way of greater focus on typicity and terroir, has reinvigorated the offer. Quality, too, has never been better, with value to be found across the spectrum of what Australia can offer.

This joint OLN and Harpers report explores these themes, aiming to deliver what drinks retailing businesses need to know to stay fully abreast of the commercial opportunities offered by the southern hemisphere’s most dynamic wine-producing scene.

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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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