The Wine Wizards of Oz


Australian winemakers demonstrate their magic at Vinexpo 2018 

The magic of Australian wines and the mysteries of the nation’s littler-known regions were all revealed to a highly admiring pack of Asian and global buyers at Vinexpo 2018. Not only was Australia the Country of Honour, it played its role to a tee, with master classes, conferences, tastings and of course the “Blend” evening, which added a little entertainment to the more serious side of the business. While there were far too many exhibitors to give justice to all in one article, we asked just a few how the show went for them… 

Casella - Malcolm Paul DaviesCASELLA FAMILY BRANDS 

Malcolm Paul Davies,
Export Manager – APAC and Emerging Markets 

We’ve been meeting with a number of important distributors every day. We’ve had people come up that I wasn’t expecting to see, which I am hoping will do very well for us in our business. Initially, I just thought it was just about having a presence and showcasing our wines, but this has actually worked out to be much more than that. It’s a big set-up. There are a lot of Australians and Australian wine in the room, and the response from customers and distributors coming through has been very positive, and the networking session – the Blend – was pretty amazing! 


Zachary Tom Keelan,
Director, Winemaker, Crayon Control 

It’s my first time in Hong Kong, and for me, it’s been a bit of an educational tour to be honest. I came in eyes wide open, with no huge expectations of what was going to be the outcome, but I have learnt so much in the past three days in terms of what the market is, what they want, pricing, and labelling. Especially labelling in fact – it’s incredible the amount of attention to detail that some of the customers have on labels. The show has been a success. I have a suitcase full of business cards, and it will take a good week or two when I get back to Adelaide to go contact all these people. And now I am an expert on WeChat, which is fantastic! 


Nicole Samodol,

We have had two master classes through Vinexpo and also had the regional bar so it has given us an opportunity to introduce them to the Orange region, and explain why it’s different to other regions, with the cool climate and high altitude delivering elegant, lovely textured wines. Feedback has been very positive, with great engagement. The show has been a big success. 

Fine Wines of AustraliaFINE WINES OF AUSTRALIA 

Ryan G Hale,

It’s all about Sinful 8: bringing out a new brand to the Asian markets from the Riverina area – basically from the wine to the bottle to the label – everything has been done with no expenses spared. Reaction has been fantastic. Everyone I talked to knew I was here, and this was my first Vinexpo. It’s been great. Everyone has at least stopped by and taken photos. Wine Australia has done a fantastic job. 

Denise and Jason TranterCW WINES (COONAWARRA) 

Denise Tranter,
Director (and husband Jason) 

We sell a lot of bulk wine, we do about seven million litres a year, but we are getting into buyer’s own brands of bottled stock from McLaren Vale and Barossa, and predominantly Coonawarra and the Limestone Coast, from entry-level right through to high end. We know that for the China market, labelling is extremely important, and we are working with John Jewell for this. He has a good handle on the latest and greatest labels and that’s a great help. The show has been very busy. We’ve made a lot of contacts, and I think you’ve just got to keep coming back every year and keep at it.