Over AU$1bn to China over past year – a first!
Australian wine exports continue to set records, with a new high for the average value of bottled wine exports of AU$5.74 per litre and exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) increasing by 51% for the year to March 2018 to reach AU$1.04 billion – a first for Australian wine exports to a single country.
The 12 months to March saw exports increase by 16% in value to reach AU$2.65 billion – the highest value in a decade – and volume also increased by 10% to a near-record level of 844 million litres or 94 million 9-litre case equivalents.
The high quality of Australian wine plus historically low Northern Hemisphere harvests are driving the demand for Australian wine exported in bulk containers, leading to growth in both volume, which grew by 10% to 462 million litres, and the total value of exported bulk wine, which grew by 19% to AU$486 million. Wine Australia CEO, Andreas Clark said, “Excellent vintage conditions in Australia would sustain the sector’s growth as the relatively cool, dry summer had produced high-quality grapes and winemakers are excited about the exceptional quality of the 2018 vintage wines”.
AU$50 MILLION PACKAGE – NEW AND BIGGER OPPORTUNITIES
The Australian Government’s AU$50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package (the AU$50m Package) is an exciting, one–off allocation of AU$50 million, which aims to grow the Australian wine sector by showcasing the nation’s wine tourism offering and driving demand for Australian wine exports.
With the support of the Australian Government’s AU$50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, Australia’s presence at Vinexpo Hong Kong, is bigger, bolder and better than ever before.
POPULAR VARIETIES OF AUSTRALIAN WINE IN CHINA (INCLUDING HONG KONG AND MACAU)
Sweeter wines and white wine are becoming more popular in China. The most popular varieties of Australian wine exported into China are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Grenache.
“Red wine resonates strongly in the China market, and it is over 90% of our exports”, said Clark, adding, “The success we have had is because we have really worked hard in the market.”
AUSTRALIA’S 65 WINE REGIONS
When it comes to regions, Australian wine used to be comparatively straightforward, for the consumer at least. There were the classic regions that most had heard of – Coonawarra, the Barossa, Clare Valley, Margaret River etc. – and there were a few others that the more informed were aware of; Geelong, the Yarra Valley and Padthaway for example.
In the past few years, however, awareness of Australia’s collection of distinct wine regions has grown phenomenally. There are now 65 recognised Australian wine regions, areas that range from Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills to the Canberra District right out to Western Australian centres including Manjimup and the Swan River. This proliferation has been caused in-part by a greater understanding of regions and Australian terroir coupled with the re-emergence of regions that had fallen from view.
Because of Australia’s vast land, winemakers are able to showcase wide-ranging grape varieties and styles across many diverse regions.
It’s not just Australian wine regions that have proliferated of late; the collection of grape varieties has also expanded in tandem with the styles of wine that are being produced. Through a combination of winemakers’ desire to try new things, an increased awareness of the vineyards they are working with and rising environmental changes, new varieties are popping up across Australia, often with spectacular results.
A decade ago, were you to go in search of an Australian Nebbiolo, Nero d’Avola or Assyrtiko, your search may have been long and ultimately fruitless. Today all these wines are available in Australia and their quality is turning heads.
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