Following Naked Wines’ commitments to the independent wine industry in December 2020, after the China wine tariff hike, the Australian wine subscription service has delivered a $5 million rescue fund Stop The Squeeze to support struggling independent wine producers.
The Stop The Squeeze rescue fund has enabled Australian independent wine companies to thrive. Some of the benefactors include Leighton Joy from Pyren Vineyard, Hamish Maguire from Shottesbrooke Wine and Jason Schwarz from Schwarz Wine Company.
As part of the program, these wine producers are able to redirect wines no longer viable to be sent to China back into Australian wine lovers’ glasses.
“We know Australians are ready to dive in and help the smaller local players in the wine industry, and this is the perfect time for wine lovers to come together and rally for these hard-hit winemakers,” Naked Wines Australia managing director Alicia Kennedy said.
“With Stop The Squeeze they will be supporting independent, local, rescued drops and we don’t think you’ll find a more conscious drink on the market.
“The tariff action had an immediate financial impact for the entire wine industry, but for independent winemakers – who are already operating on small margins and being constantly squeezed by big bottle major supermarket chains here in the domestic market – it has the potential to be a slow death to their businesses,” Kennedy said.
“When you have a bigger business, or are owned by Coles or Woolworths, you have more breathing room financially and there is a greater ease in weathering these big disruptive market storms.
“But if Australians want to see a truly local and diverse wine industry, then they need to step up and support it with ways that truly support independent winemakers. Such as going direct to the producer’s cellar door or buying online through direct-to-consumer business models, so as much profit as possible can be passed on to the winemaker.”
Pyren Vineyard has benefitted greatly from the Stop The Squeeze rescue fund.
“When China announced the tariffs would be here for five years it forced our business and the wider industry to take a reality check. And because of the instability in the market, we went back to square one with what the future might look like,” Joy said.
“We’ve been really fortunate to be working with Naked and seeing our wines continue to be placed in domestic markets. But the funding from the Stop The Squeeze rescue fund has meant that rather than hit pause, we’ve been able to go forward on a range of critical projects for the future sustainability and stability of our business.”
One core project implemented by Pyren Vineyard was transitioning the property towards organic certification and climate activities, aiming to become carbon net zero by the end of 2021.
“If you look at what consumers are searching for in their wine domestically, together with what the large export markets are wanting to see from Australian wines, sustainable and organic wines are coming in at the top of the list,” Joy said.
“So, the funding from Stop The Squeeze has given us the confidence to keep moving forward on these really important projects and commit to a better long-term future for our business.”
The wines made possible through Stop The Squeeze include a variety of red wines from featured independent winemakers.
The wines are available now through Naked Wines and will remain available until the end of October.
“Making these wines available to all Australians is a great opportunity for wine lovers as we truly believe some of the best wine being made in this country is being made by independent winemakers,” Kennedy said.
“For some winemakers who are significantly vested in the Chinese consumer market, without these rescue funds, it would have meant the possibility of those businesses closing their doors under the pressures faced from the China tariff trade action.
“We want to see all wine lovers get their hands on these amazing one-off drops while they last!”
To purchase the wines available due to Stop The Squeeze, visit: www.nakedwines.com.au/stopthesqueeze-1