Premium wine business course to be launched at Vinexpo

Two of the world’s great wine regions have come together to offer a high-end business course spanning two continents.

The 10-day Business of Wine course will give industry professionals access to some of the leading minds in Adelaide, Australia, and Bordeaux, France.

The course is the result of collaboration between renowned wine industry educators the University of Adelaide and the KEDGE Wine and Spirits Academy in Bordeaux.

The 10-day course was launched today, 29 May, at the Vinexpo in Hong Kong.

Course participants will spend five days in each region where they will be given exclusive access to vineyard tours and master classes led by chief winemakers. Alongside this, a tailored academic program will cover subjects such as research and development, global market insights, wine marketing, and consumer behaviour.

Bordeaux is probably the most famous wine region in the world while Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, is within an hour’s drive of globally renowned regions Barossa, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills.

Adelaide joined Bordeaux as a Great Wine Capital in 2016.

“This unique and immersive program has been designed to allow people from all over the world to learn from the experiences of experts from two of the world’s greatest wine regions,” said University of Adelaide Wine Business Program Director Marni Ladd.

“Participants will learn from the best academics and business leaders not just about the science of wine, but also about future challenges in the wine business.”

The program is a direct result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Adelaide Business School and KEDGE Business School last year.

KEDGE Wine and Spirits Academy Director Professor Jacques-Olivier Pesme said France and Australia’s winemaking histories and experiences were different but very complimentary.

“As such, the experiences, practices, and technologies of these two regions provide different perspectives which are among the most successful ones in the world of wine,” he said.

“This polarity is what make this program so unique; a truly holistic learning experience.”

Australia is the world’s fifth largest wine producer and the second largest exporter to China, behind France. South Australia produces about 50 per cent of Australia’s wine and is home to leading brands including Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, Hardys Wines and Wolf Blass.

Expressions of interest are being sought for the inaugural course, which will likely be held in Adelaide in November 2018 and Bordeaux in May 2019.

The new course was launched at a Vinexpo event attended by wine business leaders, industry bodies, dignitaries and the Great Wine Capitals Global Network community.

Vinexpo Hong Kong 2018, involving the participation of both the University of Adelaide and KEDGE, is the most influential wine and spirits trade fair in Asia. This year, the fair celebrates Australia as the ‘Country of Honour’.

Speaking at Vinexpo, Australian Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said the course would take advantage of existing and emerging market opportunities.

“Australian wine producers have never been so connected with the world as the global demand for our wine only grows,” Senator Ruston said.

Rabobank appoints new horticulture and wine analyst

Agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank has announced the appointment of Hayden Higgins to head up its horticulture and wine sector research. 

Higgins joins the bank’s food and agribusiness research team from his role as major agribusiness manager with Rabobank New Zealand.

General manager of RaboResearch Food & Agribusiness Tim Hunt said the new appointment was an opportunity to take advantage of Mr Higgins’ extensive knowledge of the horticulture and viticulture industries.

 “Over the past 15 years in his career in rural banking, Hayden has worked extensively across a range of industries, but has had particular exposure to both wine and horticulture,” he said.

“Since joining Rabobank in 2010 in the Hawkes Bay region, he has worked closely with some of the largest and most complex wine, horticulture and other agribusiness clients in the North Island and has built a substantial in-depth knowledge of these key industries in this time.”

 Higgins has also served as chair of Rabobank’s NZ horticulture strategy team since 2014.

Based in Hastings on New Zealand’s North Island, Mr Higgins will cover the horticulture and viticulture sectors for the bank in both Australia and New Zealand.

New wine platform aims to forge bonds between consumers and winemakers

Twenty Five Doors is a technology solution empowering wineries to easily create, market and deliver accessible and unique wine experiences at their cellar door. The purpose isn’t to ‘educate’ but rather to create a personal connection between every wine lover and their favourite wineries. Wine education is, ironically, the by-product.

Through the integrated planning website, launching this month with the Yarra Valley, Twenty Five Doors brings together the wine experiences available from wineries in a region in one place. It allows the wine lover to select and self-discover the wines and wine experiences that are on offer, and plan an itinerary to get the most out a particular region that suits their tastes.

The platform has an unique mapping feature which allows consumers to create, for free, personalised self-guided itineraries of wine regions selecting wineries which match their tastes and interests. The itineraries help all wineries to be discovered by visitors, especially the smaller wineries that don’t have marketing budgets to promote themselves widely. The wineries get qualified customers delivered right to their cellar door.

There is no cost for wineries to be listed on Twenty Five Doors. Instead, consumers pay an annual membership fee and wineries pay a small booking fee only when visitors book an experience.

As a member, consumers get access to unique and exclusive experiences at wineries so they can get the best from their travels. There are no more hours of researching, driving around in circles or standing in the wineries waiting for the next small taste of wine.

“Twenty Five Doors is a major step forward to providing scale to the hundreds of wine makers across Australia. It will allow them to focus on what they do best, make great wine and deliver a growing audience of informed, interested wine lovers to their cellar door and to their business,” said Australian wine authority Peter Bourne.


$7.4 million investment boost for international wine tourism

Wine regions across Australia stand to benefit from a $7.4 million investment boost for 21 international wine tourism projects, including $2.8 million from the International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants Program – a component of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, said the response to the competitive grants program had been positive, with regional communities banding together to submit exciting wine tourism projects for their districts.

‘Our regions have really embraced the opportunity to expand and enhance Australia’s diverse and unique wine tourism experiences.

‘It’s about growing the reputation of Australia’s food, wine and tourism experiences.

‘Together with targeted marketing campaigns in China and the USA, the grants are creating a platform for the commercial success of our local brands and investing back into local jobs’, she said.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the 21 successful wine tourism projects will diversify our wine tourism offering and create a lasting impression of Australian wine, in terms of visitor enjoyment and satisfaction.

‘It is important for the growth and success of our wine regions that we deepen engagement with international tourists and these successful projects will help attract more visitors to experience Australia’s wine offering’, he said.

Reborn TPP good news for Australian wine and cheese makers

The Trans Pacific Partnership has been reborn as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Matthew McDonald examines the new agreement and what it means for our food and beverage industry.

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which originally was to include 12 Pacific nations, seemed dead in the water early last year when the then newly elected President Donald Trump declared that the US would not be involved in the deal.

However, at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland in January, the 11 remaining nations –  Japan, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei – agreed to a new deal known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Then in March, all parties signed the deal (which is also being called TPP-11). Broadly, it cuts tariffs and puts in place common laws and regulations. It is a framework under which separate 18 new bilateral deals between participating countries will sit. Australia, for example, has made new deals with Canada and Mexico.

What’s in it for Australia

From an Australian perspective, farmers and the service sector are the big winners.

In terms of agriculture, our beef exports to Japan (which were worth $2 billion in 2016-17) will be boosted by tariff reductions; and there will be new access for dairy products into Japan, Canada and Mexico.

In addition, Australia will have new access into the Japanese, Canadian and Mexican sugar markets; and there will be an elimination of all tariffs on sheep meat, as well as an elimination of many tariffs on seafood and horticulture.

Also, our cereals and grain exporters will gain new access into Japan. Significantly, for the first time in 20 years, this will include rice products.


However, agriculture isn’t the only winner. The CPTPP will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in the free trade area. Australian cheese makers, for example, can look forward to the scrapping of a range of tariffs into Japan which currently cover over $100 million of trade.

Also, Australian wine makers, who were already on a high following the recent release of record-breaking export figures for 2017, will further benefit from the news that the CPTPP will see the elimination of tariffs on wine. CEO of Wine Australia, Andreas Clark told Food & Beverage Industry News that the two core benefits for the sector are reduced tariffs and a specific annex for wine and spirits.

“The annex is an exciting part of the partnership as it provides an opportunity to remove a range of technical barriers that can impact our exports. All the parties involved in the CPTPP have agreed on a cooperative framework to remove some of these barriers, which will help streamline trade,” he said.

“The Australian grape and wine community has seen many benefits from our existing free trade agreements with the USA, Japan, Korea and China – among many others – and the CPTPP may allow additional benefits to flow back to grape and wine businesses across the country.”

Clark’s positive reaction was echoed across Australian industry.

“The deal covers 11 nations that together constitute around 30 per cent of the global economy, and four of Australia’s top 10 export markets for food and beverages. The economic weight of the TPP and common set of rules established among 11 countries will greatly support Australian food exporters, providing Australian jobs and economic growth,” said Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC) CEO Tanya Barden.

She pointed out that the deal will result in greater alignment and harmonisation across the region on regulation and behind-the-border trade issues and added that this is particularly relevant to the food industry, which generally face onerous import controls that differ from one nation to another.

“The parliamentary process for reviewing international trade agreements will provide an opportunity to review the TPP agreement in great detail. At the forefront of that review must be the promotion of jobs, investment and growth for Australia’s economic prosperity,” said Barden.

What are the negatives?

While the Opposition has been mostly positive about the deal, sections of the Labor Party claim some Australian workers could suffer as a result of the CPTPP. They say the establishment of labour market testing for any foreign workers are crucial. Opposition leader Bill Shorten has called for the Productivity Commission to conduct an independent analysis of the deal first. He said that if modelling shows the deal is good for the nation and Australian jobs, Labor would back it.

One important feature of trade deals not often noted by the lay person is the fact that they aren’t all about free trade. They are also investor rights agreements. As such, the deal includes an investor-statement-dispute-settlement mechanism (ISDS). This has raised fears that, as the result of the CPTPP, corporations could sue the Australian Government if Australian laws adversely affect their performance. Many point to Philip Morris suing the Australian Government for introducing plain cigarette packaging as an example of what could happen.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo responded to the fears by saying Australia will retain the right to make its own legislation and that the fears were unfounded.

Scholarships set students on course for vintage careers

Thanks to a donation from Casella Family Brands, four University of Adelaide students are pursuing their dreams of careers in the wine industry.

Edith Parsons-Lucas, Benjamin Jones and Lucas Allen have been awarded undergraduate scholarships worth $15,000 each to support them in the first year of their studies, and Lukas Papagiannis will benefit from an honours scholarship worth $5,000. 

This is the first year the scholarships have been awarded. A total of $180,000 over three years will support new students.

“Thanks to the generous support of Casella Family Brands, aspiring grape growers and winemakers from outside Adelaide, or those who would not otherwise be able to afford the cost of studying and living in Adelaide, will be able to pursue their passion,” says Vladimir Jiranek, Professor of Oenology at The University of Adelaide’s Waite campus.

Lukas Papagiannis will use his scholarship to support himself while focusing on the final year of his studies.

“What sparked my interest in winemaking was a love for chemistry and a need for a mobile career path not limited to one corner of the globe,” says Mr Papagiannis.

Edith Parsons-Lucas, has worked in the industry for four years but unlike many of her colleagues, she can now undertake formal studies.

“I am now realising my dream of studying wine-making. I am concerned about the long-term effects of climate change on the wine industry and I want to play a part in ensuring its future,” says Ms Parsons-Lucas.

Benjamin Jones moved from Victoria as he feels Adelaide is the best place to learn his craft.

“I was attracted to studying at the University of Adelaide as it has the best facilities and reputation. This scholarship has certainly helped me achieve my goals of studying with the best,” says Mr Jones.

Lucas Allen fell in love with the world of wine while working overseas in the hospitality and retail industry.

“All the lecturers have been very welcoming. They make us feel that if we believe in ourselves and do the hard yards, we can succeed in our dreams whatever they may be,” he says.

 “There are intensive overseas study tours as part of my course that I can now take that I could not otherwise have afforded without this scholarship. I hope that one day I can shake Mr Casella’s hand over a glass of red and tell him personally how much this has made a difference to my university life,” says Mr Allen.

“Casella Family Brands has always championed excellence in grape growing and winemaking ever since the 1950s,” says John Casella, Managing Director of Casella Family Brands, Australia’s largest family-owned winery and makers of world-renowned wines which include yellow tail.

“These scholarships will encourage students to excel in their studies and plant the seeds for the future of young grape growers and winemakers.”

Higher wine prices do not discourage investors – report

With current tight global inventories, higher prices are now assumed and accepted by buyers, while innovation in wine is increasing, according to a new report.

Rabobank’s latest Global Wine Quarterly report also found that bBeverage categories are blending and demand for organic wine is growing, even if this has taken longer than initially anticipated. These are just some of the trends observed at the world’s leading wine and spirits trade fair, Dusseldorf’s ProWein 2018, and outlined in the report.

Australian wine exports in 2017 reflected the sharp increase in sales to China, with China now outpacing the US to be the largest buyer of Australian wine in value terms. Exports of bulk wine contracted, with the exception of sales to China, while exports of bottled wine to Europe – UK, Germany, The Netherlands, and Sweden – saw a positive trend that more than offset the slightly weaker bottled sales to North America.

Australian exports to the US were up by 24 per cent in volume in 2017, driven by an 89 per cent increase in shipments of bulk wine, with bottled wine down by six per cent. Bulk wine export volumes to the US are quickly approaching those of bottled wines and the change in the mix is having a clear impact on the average price per litre.

Across the board, Australian wine exports increased by 9.4 per cent in volume terms and 16.7 per cent in value in 2017.

Entering the harvesting period for the southern hemisphere, bulk wine prices remain high after having steadily increased in the last months of last year. The report says tight availability is likely to prevent any correction in the near future, and although larger volumes are expected in various markets (South Africa being the key exception), this is not enough to move the market back to balance.

From a M&A perspective, the recent acquisition of Accolade Wines by US private equity group P.E Carlyle for AUD1billion reflects investor interest in the wine industry and the growth potential of the Chinese market, with rising exports of Australian wine to China.

Winemaker announces Graduate Program Intake

Pernod Ricard Winemakers has announced its 2018 Graduate Program Intake, a program intended to open up a world of wine to the next generation.

Since 2015, the Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Graduate Wine Ambassador Program has opened doors for young professionals who are keen to pursue a future in the international wine industry. Over the past three years, the company has placed 25 Graduate Wine Ambassadors in 14 countries, guiding them on a journey to some of the most famous and stunning wine regions in the world.

The program itself is broken up into two stages, each offering the graduates a unique insight into the world of wine, and the Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ portfolio. Once selected for the program, participants are invited to undertake a four-month training program that sees them introduced to all aspects of wine, including tasting and viticulture, and to have the opportunity to visit wineries and vineyards across Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the USA. To ensure that the business is supporting leaders of the future, graduates are also mentored in business and professional skills, receiving training in finance, marketing, consumer insights and business development to prepare them for a multitude of roles across then business.

“Through this program, graduates are provided with the opportunity to focus their natural talents and passion for wine while securing a strong development career path in the second largest wine and spirits organisation in the world.” says Alicia Partridge, Pernod Ricard Winemakers Graduate Program Manager.

“Our Winemakers and team are proud to be sharing our knowledge, instilling a love of wine and winemaking, and to also be attracting young talent to our diverse industry. Our Graduate Wine Ambassadors are advocates for wine right across the world.”

Following the initial introduction to the Pernod Ricard Winemakers business and its wine labels, graduates then progress to the next phase of the program, commencing their in-market placement. Completed over a two-year period, this stage of the program provides the graduate with a holistic view of Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ global operations, establish opportunities for continued learning and development opportunities, as well as providing the graduates a personal introduction to the global Pernod Ricard Winemakers family.


Adelaide Hills wineries head to Surry Hills

More than 25 Adelaide Hills wineries will descend on Winebar One in Sydney’s Surry Hills on May 8 for three hours of tastings and masterclasses.

With around 70 wines on offer, the trade will be able taste their way through the 70km stretch of the Adelaide Hills from sparkling wine and gruner veltliner, to shiraz and pinot noir, experiencing the best of the Adelaide Hills.

A trade tasting hosted by the winemakers will run from 2-5pm while three masterclasses will run consecutively from 3-5pm. Places to the following masterclasses are limited and must be booked in advance by emailing

The winemakers attending include Murdoch Hill’s Michael Downer, crowned the nation’s best emerging talent at the 2017 Young Gun of Wine awards, along with Adelaide Hills’ royalty Andrew Hardy (Petaluma, pictured), Adam Wadewitz (Shaw + Smith) and Tim Knappstein (Riposte) among others.

Situated just 45 minutes outside of Adelaide, the Hills is home to every winemaking approach and philosophy and is currently seen as Australia’s hottest region at the moment.

The Hills Heist event is aimed to reflect the diversity of the region with Adelaide Hills’ originals and household names including Penfolds, Henschke and Shaw + Smith standing alongside The Pawn Wine Co, Nepenthe and Hahndorf Hills, producers of the Austrian variety, Gruner Veltliner, which has found its home in Australia in the Adelaide Hills.

Other Adelaide Hills specialties to discover include sparkling wine, Mediterranean varieties and cool new shiraz.

Attending wineries include:

Anderson Hill; ArtWine; Barristers Block; Bird in Hand; Chain of Ponds; Deviation Road; Elderslie; Elysian Springs; Fox Gordon; Golding; Hanhdorf Hill; Henschke; Howard Vineyard; Lobethal Road; Longview; Mike Press Wines; Mt Lofty Ranges; Murdoch Hill; Nepenthe; Paracombe; Penfolds; Petaluma; Red Heads; Riposte; Sew & Sew; Shaw + Smith; Somerled; The Lane Vineyard; The Pawn Wine Co; Tomich; Wicks Estate



Top international visitors experience Australian wine regions

April is proving to be one of the busiest months ever for immersive wine tours due to additional funding through the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, with Wine Australia hosting more than 30 international wine professionals this month.

The groups of journalists, sommeliers, wine buyers and wine influencers from China mainland, Hong Kong, Canada and the United States (USA) are in Australia to gain first-hand experience of the unique regions that help make Australian wine so special.

Across five visits, guests are meeting producers face-to-face and sampling wines over tastings and master classes in regions including the Adelaide Hills, Hunter Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Yarra Valley, Macedon Ranges, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Margaret River. These visits build their knowledge and confidence to become ambassadors of Australian wine.

Visitors are also exploring wines from Langhorne Creek, Coonawarra, Limestone Coast, Tasmania, Canberra, Tumbarumba, Orange, Mudgee and New England at centrally held master classes, allowing them to explore more regional expressions within the limited time of their visit.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the visits give guests insight into the history of Australian wine, modern innovations and our food and wine culture.

“Wine Australia hosts more than 140 visitors each year – bringing influential members of the international wine trade and media to our wine regions to help them discover the people and places that influence the unique characteristics of Australian wine,” he said.

“With the support of the $50m Package, we’re able to amplify the Australian wine experience for many visitors and ensure that they return home with a refreshed perspective of our wines that can be shared with trade, media and consumers in-market.”

Chinese Sommelier Arneis Wu of two–Michelan starred restaurant, L’atelier de Joel Robuchon took part in this year’s China Vintage trip and said the visit provided insight into Australian wine and wine culture.

“The trip is a very good chance to get to know the wine people here, to understand their hardworking and innovative spirits, along with their winemaking philosophy.”

On the wine varieties, he said ‘It’s really rare to find back vintage Semillon in China and during the visit I saw the potential aging of the grape variety, which has quite a different aroma, creaminess and roundness after ageing compared with a young one.

“We also came across grape varieties like Grüner Veltliner and Sangiovese, and wines made from 100% Pinot Meunier from Yarra Valley, which demonstrate the diversity here, as well as the climate, the soil and terroir,” he said.

Sylvia Wu, web editor from Decanter China said she is most surprised with the various expressions and styles of the more familiar varieties, such as ‘the elegant and vibrant Cabernet and Shiraz/Syrah in Yarra Valley, also the incredible complexity of aged Semillon from Hunter Valley.

“I think the diversity is the most exciting element of Australian wines. The trip has been deeply educational for me as we were able to gain visual and sensual experience with the “terroir” of these legendary New World wine regions. The trip will certainly help me to talk and write about Australian wines with deeper understanding and personal interest,” she said.

Australian wine exports setting new records

Australian wine exports continue to set records, with a new high for the average value of bottled wine exports of $5.74 per litre and exports to China (including Hong Kong and Macau) increasing by 51 per cent for the year to March 2018 to reach $1.04 billion – a first for exports to a single country – according to data released by Wine Australia today.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said the 12 months to March saw exports increase by 16 per cent in value to reach $2.65 billion – the highest value in a decade – and volume also increased by 10 per cent to a near-record level of 844 million litres or 94 million 9 litre case equivalents.

Clark said as value growth outpaced volume growth, the average value per litre of all Australian wine exported increased by 5 per cent to $3.14 per litre.

The value of bottled wine exports increased by 15 per cent to $2.15 billion, the highest value since 2009.

The average value of bulk wine also increased, by 8 per cent to $1.05 per litre, the highest value since 2009.

Higher value wine exports grew substantially with exports of wine above $10 per litre reaching a new peak of $779 million for the year to March 2018.

Clark said the high quality of Australian wine plus historically low Northern Hemisphere harvests were driving the demand for Australian wine exported in bulk containers, leading to growth in both volume, which grew by 10 per cent to 462 million litres, and the total value of exported bulk wine, which grew by 19 per cent to $486 million.

“Every country in Australia’s top 10 bulk wine destinations recorded an increase in average value, especially Germany, the largest importer of wine in the world, where average values for bulk wine increased by 20 per cent from $0.87 to $1.05 per litre,” said Clark.

He explained that wine exports to China had grown as wine tariffs had dropped again in January 2018, in line with the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement.

The tariff would be removed completely in January 2019, providing Australian wine exporters with a competitive advantage over key producers such as France, Italy and Spain.

“Mainland China has now overtaken the USA to become Australia’s second largest export market by volume. Pleasingly there was very strong growth at all price points as imported wine becomes more approachable and is increasingly consumed by middle-class drinkers and seen as suitable for consumption at informal gatherings and while relaxing at home.”


Clark said that while the commercial end of the USA market was in decline, contributing to the drop in volume, there had been strong growth in the premium sectors. For wines $10 per litre and over, the strongest contribution came from the $30–49.99 segment, which increased in value by 25 per cent to $5 million.

According to IRI Worldwide, in 2017, Australian sales in the USA off-trade market declined by 1 per cent in value but there was strong growth in two price segments. At US$8–11.99 per bottle, Australian sales doubled while at US$20–24.99 per bottle grew by 22 per cent.

Exports to the United Kingdom (UK), Australia’s largest export destination by volume, increased in value by 9 per cent to $373 million and in volume by 8 per cent to 241 million litres. Average value increased slightly by 1 per cent to $1.55 per litre.

In the UK off-trade retail market Australian sales increased by 2 per cent in value in 2017, maintaining the nation’s long-held number one position in the UK retail market according to market data analysts, Nielsen.

On the domestic front, Australian wine sales in the off-trade retail market increased by 3 per cent in value to $3.5 billion in the 12 months ended 4 March 2018, with the strongest growth occurring in the $15–30 per bottle segment according to IRI MarketEdge.

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.

“Wine Australia is already reaching out to producers to remind them that now is the time to set their vineyards up for an outstanding 2019 vintage.”

Wine Insights renamed Cumulus Wines

The Orange region’s most awarded winery will return to the name it was founded under, Cumulus Wines.

The company, previously known as Wine Insights carries an extensive portfolio of premium wines from Orange & the Central Ranges alongside its brands from Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills and Margaret River.

Under the direction of Cameron Crowley appointed as CEO in 2017, the business has embarked on a review of its brand and business model seeking ways to better execute and communicate the things that make the business so special.

“The Cumulus brand is synonymous with Orange, Australia’s premier cool climate, high elevation wine region,” said Cameron. “The move to revert to Cumulus Wines builds on our history, regional leadership and the global presence of the Cumulus brand, which includes the well-known ranges ‘Rolling’ and ‘Climbing’.”

The rebranding to Cumulus Wines will also feature on new packaging scheduled for launch later in the year.



Wine most popular, but beer most drunk by Australians

The Roy Morgan Alcohol Currency Report has found that 69.3 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over drink alcohol in an average four-week period.

According to the report, of all Australians 18+ years old, 44.5 per cent consume wine, 39.1 per cent consume beer, 27.5 per cent consume spirits, and 13.6 per cent consume cider.

When looking at drinkers by gender, men are the predominant consumers of alcohol, with 74 per cent consuming alcohol in an average four- week period, compared to 65 per cent of women.

Women had the highest incidence of wine consumption, with nearly 50 per cent of all women drinking wine in an average 4 weeks compared to 39 per cent of men. Wine skews to older drinkers, with the highest incidence among 50+ and 35-49 year olds.

In contrast, beer is consumed by 59 per cent of men in an average 4 weeks, compared to only 20 per cent of women. Beer is fairly constant across age, increasing slightly from 18-49, but declines for the 50+ age group.

Cider is fairly evenly split between the genders with a slight skew towards women, but it is heavily skewed to younger Australians compared to old, with 27 per cent of 18-24 year olds consuming cider in an average four weeks compared to 7.8 per cent of 50+.

Alcohol Consumption Incidence – % and estimated number of Australians who have consumed each type of alcohol in an average 4 week period.

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Alcohol Consumption Incidence –  per cent and estimated number of Australians who have consumed each type of alcohol in an average 4 week period.

Beer maintains largest share of throat

In Australia, 128.8 million glasses of alcohol were consumed by 11.6 million drinkers in an average seven-day period in 2017.

Beer has the highest Share of Throat across Australia, accounting for 44 per cent of all alcohol volume consumed by drinkers, compared to wine at 32 per cent. And while cider has experienced an increase in popularity over the last decade, it still represents only 3.3 per cent of all alcoholic volume.

“While wine is the most popular choice of alcoholic drink among Australians, it’s interesting to note the largest volume of alcohol is beer, representing 44 per cent of all alcohol in a 12 month period. There has been a decline in alcohol consumption among men, who in the last five years have gone from 76.5 per cent consuming alcohol to 73.9 per cent in an average four week period,” said Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan.

“This is contrasted by the rise of women consuming alcohol, which has increased from 64.1 per cent to 64.8 per cent. Young people have also declined in alcohol consumption, with 18-24 year olds decreasing from 71.8 per cent alcohol consumption to 68.1 per cent in an average four weeks. This is compared to 50+, who have increased from 69.4 per cent to 70.2 per cent.”

Alcohol Share of Throat

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Growers need to act now to prepare for Vintage 2019

Post-vintage grapevine management, particularly in dry years, is crucial to a favourable start to the following season. It’s in this light that Wine Australia is encouraging grapegrowers to brush up on post-harvest care as Vintage 2018 wraps up across the country.

Resources on Wine Australia’s website provide growers with information on the role of carbohydrates and nutrient reserves in the grapevine growth cycle and how irrigation and fertiliser can be used most efficiently to assist vine recovery in dryer vintages – such as Vintage 2018.

Dr Liz Waters, General Manager for Research, Development and Extension at Wine Australia, said that depending on where they are based, Australian grapegrowers have between a few weeks to a few months to prepare their vines for the next vintage.

“Vine nutrition and the role of irrigation are important for growers to consider post-harvest, and this year in particular there has been lower rainfall across Australia to assist vine recovery,” Waters said.

“If vines are water-stressed during harvest, the canopy may not have the capacity to ripen fruit and restore carbohydrates at the same time. This means the vines are more reliant on post-harvest irrigation and nutrition.

“One of the main benefits of improving post-harvest care in drier vintages is that leaves are better maintained, encouraging photosynthesis that maximises carbohydrate production, which is then stored in reserves with nutrients for the vine to draw from in the next season.”

Photosynthesis and mineral nutrition are closely linked, and adequate nutritional status is needed to maintain photosynthetic rates, while the carbohydrates produced by photosynthesis are in turn needed as a source of energy for mineral uptake.

Irrigation also assists in the movement of water through the soil profile, which helps fertilisers move into the root zone and makes nutrients more accessible through the moist soil, while assisting active leaf transpiration that is necessary to carry the major mineral nutrients through the grapevine.

Post-harvest irrigation is important because of its impact on the restoration of carbohydrate and mineral nutrient reserves. However, where reduced water allocations or low rainfall limit irrigation options after harvest, it may not always be possible to maintain soil moisture levels. In this case, research suggests that vines can tolerate one to two seasons of conditions where they enter vine dormancy with a dry soil profile.

Wine Australia gets broader powers to protect the nation’s wine reputation

New regulations, effective this week, give the nation’s wine export regulator Wine Australia broader powers to protect the reputation of the country’s wine exports.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said that the new regulations included a number of changes, the most important being the capacity to assess whether an exporter was ‘fit and proper person’.

‘Australia’s wine exports continue to climb and our reputation for delivering on quality is a very important part of that growth’, Mr Clark said.

‘These new regulations will extend Wine Australia’s power to do more to protect Australian wine’s reputation overseas by ensuring the bona fides of potential and existing exporters.

‘Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that copycats and counterfeiters can move in when they can leverage somebody else’s good reputation to make a buck – left unchecked the damage accrues not just to an individual brand but to the reputation of the nation targeted and its other brands’, Mr Clark said.

Wine cannot be exported from Australia without approval from Wine Australia and Mr Clark said that the new regulations gave Wine Australia the authority to deny the approval of shipments where a product could not be lawfully sold in the country to which it would be exported. This could include preventing the export of a wine from Australia that infringed intellectual property-related laws in the destination country.

Additionally, exporters will no longer be able to export on behalf of companies or individuals that are not themselves eligible to hold an export licence (such as where a licence has been cancelled).

Other aspects of the regulations will be liberalised. For example, to cut red tape for exporters there will no longer be a prohibition on placing a vintage indication on innovative wine products such as flavoured wines.

The regulations have also been modified to allow the continued use of grape varieties that are also geographical indications.

Big Australian presence at China’s largest wine fair

China’s largest and oldest wine trade fair – the China Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF) in Chengdu – held from 18 to 24 March, was marked by an amplified Australian presence with 60 wine brands and 20 wine regions exhibiting under the Wine Australia banner thanks to the support of the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Established in 1955, the CFDF attracts more than 100,000 wine importers and buyers from China’s regional cities, and is widely regarded as the leading Chinese trade fair in the wine sector.

Located in Sichuan Province – the economic powerhouse of western China – the fair saw a queue of thousands gather outside the CFDF entrance to sample some of the best wines from around the world.

Attendees were treated to Australian wine tastings and master classes, along with networking opportunities and a thought-provoking seminar to generate excitement about Australian wine.

Wine Australia’s Regional General Manager, China, David Lucas, said the Chengdu Fair was one of the largest platforms in the region for showcasing wine.

“That’s why, with the package’s funding support, we organised events and activities to reach an even greater audience,” he said.

Lucas said importantly a number of the Australian exhibitors had achieved their objective of meeting potential new distributors through their presence at the show.

The regions represented at Chengdu included: Barossa Valley, Blackwood Valley, Coonawarra, Clare Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, Hunter Valley, Hilltops, Langhorne Creek, Limestone Coast, Margaret River, McLaren Vale, Nagambie Lakes, Padthaway, Riverland, Southern Highlands, Yarra Valley and Tasmania.

Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Treasury Wine Estates embrace online retail

Global wine companies, Baron Philippe de Rothschild (BPhR) and Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) have announced a new e-commerce collaboration and partnership with leading online retail platform, Tmall, to enhance brand building, supply chain efficiencies and consumer experiences in premium wine.

Celebrated at a launch event and press conference on March 8 in Shanghai, the event was attended by Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BPhR, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, TWE Chief Executive Officer Michael Clarke, Tmall President Jet Jing, and Maggie Zhou, Managing Director of Alibaba, Australia and New Zealand.

As part of the agreement, wine brands from the BPhR portfolio including Mouton Cadet and Escudo Rojo will become available on TWE’s flagship Tmall store, enabling exclusive distribution and marketing of its premium French and Chilean brand wines in Mainland China.

“Our partnership with TWE, one of the world’s leading wine companies, as well as Tmall, China’s most influential e-commerce platform, will go a long way to help us grow in one of the most dynamic markets in the world – China. Working hand in hand with TWE, our joint efforts are underpinned by shared value of excellence and commitment. Together, we underline our intention to continue to expand on a fast-growing strategic market,” said Philippe Sereys de Rothschild.

As the latest agreement in Alibaba’s pursuit to help brands capitalise on the ‘new retail’ opportunity in China, the strategic collaboration will also see Alibaba leverage its outstanding big data capability to bring its online ecosystem, offline.

“The cooperation between TWE, BPhR and Tmall is not only benefited from the outstanding growth trends in online consumption, but also from Alibaba’s big data capabilities, brand Omni-chain solutions and new consumer experiences created by new retail online-offline strategies,” said Tmall’s President Jet Jing.

At the event, Tmall showcased some of the innovative new retail technologies it is making available to the alcohol industry including Tmall cloud shelf and the Tmall vending machine for alcohol. Through intelligence technologies such as “Pop-up Smart Store” and “Brand Databank”, Tmall will build up a set of new retail facilities to enable TWE to accurately identify consumers’ needs, promote R&D for new products, optimise supply chain networks and improve the consumption experience for customers.

“We look forward to working closely with our partners to deploy technologies such as contactless payments, cloud shelf and Augmented Reality in the future, that will help to promote TWE wines and products under BPhR, and further realise new retail possibilities. As the consumer experience continues to improve, we also see a role for us to support with the optimisation of brand building, warehouse management and marketing costs,” said Maggie Zhou.

With proven success marketing Australian and US wines to China, TWE added a French country-of-origin portfolio to its offering in 2017, and in January 2018 commenced importing and distributing BPhR’s French and Chilean wines to help meet demand from Chinese consumers who enjoy wines from both the Old World and New World.


Guidelines for wine tourism grants now available

The Australian Government has released the guidelines for the $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program, before applications open on 1 July 2019.

Eligible wine producers will be able to optimise visitors’ experiences at their cellar doors with an annual grant of up to $100,000, aimed at boosting the wine and tourism sectors.

The funding opportunity comes in addition to the $10 million of International Wine Tourism State and Competitive Grants, which were made available through the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package (the $50m Package) and closed on 2 March 2018.

Total funding under the cellar door grant program will be capped at $10 million each financial year.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said, “this program recognises the huge investments that wine businesses make in local communities and the value they add in attracting international tourists.

“With the growing demand for outstanding food and wine as part of the travel experience, it’s important that our wine regions maintain their competitive edge,” she said.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said “the efforts to boost our international wine tourism experiences are great for our regions.

“Research by Wine Intelligence indicates a shift among winery visitors from only tasting wines to wanting to participate in an overall experience.

“Between the $50m Package activities and the cellar door grants program, we’ll be seeing some exciting wine tourism initiatives rolled out over the next few years as regions maintain their competitive edge.”


The cellar door grant is part of a coordinated suite of measures developed with the Australian wine sector after extensive consultation on reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate arrangements. It complements the components of the $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, which are being delivered from 2017–18 to 2019–20.

Vinexpo New York is back – and so is Australian wine

A cast of legendary Australian wines are being showcased to more than 3,000 trade and media professionals at Vinexpo New York, 5–6 March, a two-day trade fair featuring 400 wine producers.

After an absence of more than 10 years, Vinexpo New York will channel its own ‘Oscar-like’ dynamism with major wine-producing countries around the world gathering to present their craft to some of the key players in the USA wine market.

The event features master classes from sector leaders and an extensive conference program focused on the latest trends in the wine sector.

The star-studded line-up of wines includes more than 50 Australian wine brands from 20 wine regions, with exhibitors presenting their products to the top buyers in North America.

Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Anne Ruston said, “the event is an opportunity to present our great Australian wines to the leading buyers and distributors in the world’s largest wine-consuming market.”

“It’s exciting to see a renewed interest in Australian wine in the US market.

“Australia’s efforts to reengage the US trade and media at events like Vinexpo are really starting to have an impact,” she said.

Australia’s presence at Vinexpo New York includes a Wine Australia pavilion, two master classes and a 90+ Tasting Bar, hosted in partnership with Wine Spectator, where attendees can taste more than 30 wines that received 90 points or higher.

Wine Australia’s involvement in the event is supported by A$360,000 of the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package (the $50m Package) – a targeted three-year plan to increase wine exports and enhance the perception of Australian wine in the USA and China.

A key objective of the $50m Package is to grow Australian wine exports to the USA by 6 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) per annum by 2019–20.


Wine Australia appoints Regional General Manager Greater China

Wine Australia has appointed experienced China hand, David Lucas, to the new role of Regional General Manager Greater China.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Clark said David’s background was ideal to help the Australian wine sector grow and defend the Greater China market.

“David has spent the past 20 years in Asia and has significant experience within the wine and spirits categories across North Asia,”  Clark said.

“David has undertaken multiple roles for ASC Fine Wines, one of the largest importers and distributors of Australian wines in China, including Vice President Sales, and thus has a deep understanding of Chinese channel management.”

Prior to ASC Fine Wines, David spent many years at Bacardi and Allied Domecq developing spirits markets.

“With exports to Greater China now approaching $1 billion, it is essential that we strengthen the resources we have in the market to develop even bigger and deeper relationships,” said Clark.

“Under the $50 million Package investment, we rolled Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan markets into the remit of our team in Shanghai. David’s channel management background across China and Asia will allow us to reinforce our ability to act as a key bridge between our wineries and brands and the market with all of its complexities, giving us a huge opportunity to continue our stunning growth.”

Willa Yang, who has managed the China team for many years, will continue as Head of Market for China reporting to David.

David commenced on Monday 26 February 2018, reporting to Stuart Barclay, General Manager Marketing.