Wine Australia's Jewell sees "lots of positives" ahead for Australian wines

There are a lot of positives for Australian wines in the future, according to Laura Jewell MW, the regional general manager for Wine Australia UK.

She told DRN: “I think once Brexit happens, however it happens, we will know what to plan for and I think we will see even more interest in this market again. I think we will see people coming back or new people coming to this market.

“I am optimistic that Australia will get its fair share as there is a lot of mutual good feeling between Australia and the UK. You only have to look at how people in the UK are rallying round to offer help to those affected by the bushfires. It has been amazing.

“I think there are a lot of positives going forwards and the size and good attendance at the Australia Trade Tasting in London this month is testament to this.”

Jewell said one of the focus areas for this is for Wine Australia in the UK is “fresh, bright, crunchy reds”, such as Pinot Noir, Mencia, Dolcetto, Gamay, Cabernet Franc and Grenache.

Grape varieties such as Dolcetto have recorded a 9% rise in value sales, albeit from a small base.

Recent tastings that focus on artisanal wines and smaller premium wines have worked well, she said.

“We have had a really good response and we know that people are looking for lower alcohol and wines that are refreshing.

“And for me personally I think this is how the wine industry as a whole will attract new and younger people. These are people who have a wide repertoire of drinks from cocktails to G&Ts and if we give them bright, refreshing wines that will be a way of getting them in to wine.

“It is still small volumes but there are some styles coming through that are very easy and approachable. And some of the more unusual varieties and more Mediterranean varieties too.”  

Sparkling wine from Australia is also doing well, with value sales up around 8 to 9%.

Education is also a big focus for the organisation this year, Jewell said.

“Our Australian Wine Discovered programme, which we launched last year, has been a real success. We are currently refreshing the modules and we are working with independent wine shops to help with staff training sessions.

“So if anyone wants to do a Shiraz tasting for example there are 51 slides to choose from. Retailers can put their own logos on them and they can make money from it.

“We are really happy with the concept and it is a fantastic resource.”

Jewell added that they would also like to do more work with organic and biodynamic wines from Australia, and there is a focus also on wine tourism, to let people know that “Austrlaia is open to visitors”.

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