Tassie wine industry has room to grow, says wine academic

Wine marketing academic Dr Ruth Fleuchaus from Heilbronn University in Germany says that the Tasmanian wine industry has the potential to grow should it conform to the current trend towards cool climate, low alcohol wines.

Dr Fleuchaus is currently researching the growth potential of the Tasmanian wine industry at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, and believes that the state has the opportunity to produce wines that meet new consumer demands.

"I think that there is room to grow. What we see internationally is that consumer expectations and consumer trends are changing," she told abc.net.au.

“Consumers don't want to drink high alcohol wines from all over the world, especially from the New World where it is very hot".

Wine in Tasmania differs significantly in price to Europe mainly due to a low mechanisation scale as most work is done by hand, not machines.

Dr Fleuchaus believes that there is an opportunity to lower costs through mechanisation and therefore produce a higher output.

“When I started to taste the wines here I was a bit shocked because it was almost impossible to find a wine under $30, that's not what I'm used to,” she said.

“I think we have an opportunity to lower these prices when wine growers are able to manage costs here in Tasmania.”

However, Dr Fleuchaus believes that high retail prices can be achievable if Tasmanian wine is to offer a unique selling proposition.

"The point of difference is high quality wines. Wines which are expected by the consumers as cool climate wines, not so high in alcohol, very fruity wines, lighter wines than those from the mainland.

“The unique selling proposition for Tasmania to be a premium wine producer could also be the whole surroundings, the whole country and the [food] specialties here in Tasmania."


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