30/08/2005 - 22:00

Winemakers urged to win more markets

30/08/2005 - 22:00

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Australian winemakers must do more to secure their position as leaders in the wine export market, according to several speakers at the recent ANZ Australian Wine Marketing Conference, held in Adelaide.

Winemakers urged to win more markets

Australian winemakers must do more to secure their position as leaders in the wine export market, according to several speakers at the recent ANZ Australian Wine Marketing Conference, held in Adelaide.

Themed ‘Route to Market’, the conference attracted industry experts in marketing, advertising and financial industries.

Designed to address the challenges facing Australian wine marketers, the annual event was held this year at a time when the industry is jostling for a position on the world stage.

Delegates were told they must be prepared to visit export areas more often, solidify relationships with distributors and build face-to-face communications as a key promotional strategy.

Similarly, a major theme to emerge from the conference was the need to add value to the growth of Australia’s wine industry. Simply expanding the volume of sales, industry experts predicted, would not lead to increased profitability unless higher value segments were tapped into.

Winemakers have also been encouraged to do more on the home front.

Representatives from the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia and Wine Food Tourism Strategies argued for a seachange in the understanding of the cellar door.

Suggesting that wine companies viewed these facilities as ‘mini wine tourist centres’, or even aligned themselves with local tourism businesses in their regions, would diversify and strengthen their position in the global wine game.

As  Australian Wine Marketing Conference chairman Paul van der Lee noted, all of these efforts were important as significant trade opportunities still existed in all markets.

As well as established grounds such as the UK and US, representatives from the wine industries in Japan and China told the conference Australian wine was growing in stature in Asia.

While the Japanese market has long been recognised as a destination for fine wine, the Chinese Government is now encouraging the consumption of wine among its citizens.

While French wine still dominates almost half of China’s budding wine palate, Australian wine is second and growing rapidly. Ahead of the US and Italy, Australia’s growth in this market is often argued as its most important export opportunity.

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