Home' National Liquor News : NLN MAY 2016 Contents 20 | MAY 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
The world's largest wine and spirits exhibition grew even
larger this year as 55,000 trade visitors attended ProWein 2016
in Düsseldorf to do business with more than 6300 exhibitors
from 59 countries.
Wine Australia general manager of marketing, Stuart Barclay hosted
over 70 separate brands on the Wine Australia stand this year from 46
individual exhibition booths. When combined with other local wineries
and distributors on their own stands, there were over 100 Australian
wine brands at the show this year.
"This is the largest contingent of Australian brands in one spot in
over a decade and allows us to tell a very powerful story. On the Wine
Australia stand alone, we have 30 per cent extra space this year providing
more space for the wineries to do business.
"You can't deny that the dollar has certainly re-ignited international
interest again, but the interest was already there -- this has just
strengthened it. It takes us back to a position where we are very
competitive in that A$15 price point and above. This is a natural price
point where Australian wine resonates and where you can talk about
regionality and varietals, the winemakers, the stories, the history and the
authenticity of our wine industry," Barclay said.
"ProWein 2016 is an excellent opportunity to capitalise on growing
international interest in the Australian fine wine offering. Exports grew
14 per cent in value in 2015 to A$2.1 billion, and the strongest growth,
of 35 per cent in the last year, was in wines over A$10 per litre. Exports
of these wines have reached A$480 million, a record amount," he said.
"Even in some of the more challenging markets such as the UK -- we
are starting to see the higher price points emerge.
"ProWein is a great show to come to, but you have got to come here
for a long-term investment as well. Don't come here for a one-off dip-
your-toe-in-the-water, because you won't succeed. You have to keep on
coming back. You have to make sure you've got the meetings planned,
are bringing the right types of wine here, and remaining open minded.
But you have to keep doing it year in and year out. It's also a good way
to reinforce relationships with existing importers and distributors."
James Agnew, from Agnew Wines attended ProWein this year for the
first time. "I have seen a renewed interest in Australian wine and everyone
is seeking out the higher price points and regionality is the big trend,"
Agnew said. "The buyers really want to see a wine that expresses its
regionality and they want a story that attaches to that as well. It is early
days, but finally the penny has dropped internationally that there is a
whole tapestry of storytelling behind the smaller brands in Australia. All of
the interest for me has been in our Hunter wines which has been pleasing
across both the reds and the whites. For many people the first time they
have tasted Semillon is at this show and it has blown them away. We have
become complacent on Semillon because it has been there for forever
and a day but to the rest of the world it is a new drink. People who drink
Semillon like to drink young Semillon as it is certainly lively and bright. To
the international palate it can be a bit of an acid bomb so I brought aged
Semillons to ProWein and I have had people queuing up and their eyes
glazing over when they taste it for the first time, which has been nice."
Australian Vintage chief winemaker and CEO Neil McGuigan said he has
noticed a clear trend by international buyers away from high alcohol wines.
"There's no doubt that the buyers are looking for more balance in
Australian wine. No buyer has said they want the alcohol higher, not one
person -- so thank god we are over that. So it is no longer about the big
Australian wines, it is now all about balance, refinement and elegance,
but still fruit. Let's not walk away from what we can do well which is
fruit, but let's put it in a package that is approachable and drinkable."
Pernod Ricard brand ambassador, Richard Doumani also noticed that
buyers were looking for more elegant styles of Australian wine. "Buyers
are definitely looking for more freshness in Australian wine, with really
nice balanced acidity to clean up the flavours on the palate, with less oak
and much more fruit interaction with the wine. I think those big alcoholic
jammy wine styles that we have been known for, and lauded for over the
years -- that is now dead. They are looking for refinement, they want the
tannins and the acid to blend together. They want nice mouthfeel without
being too heavy."
Casella Family Brands general manager of marketing and export sales,
Libby Nutt, said she has noticed stronger interest in blended Australian wines.
"One of the trends we are seeing in Australian wine is a category some
are calling 'velvet reds', which is a trend being led from North America. I
guess this delivers something for everyone -- one person might like Shiraz,
another might like Cabernet, but if you take a blend to dinner then everyone
is happy. I think what Australia has done in the past is we have had a lot of
dual varietals on the label, but now it is much more about red blends and
you don't have to tell anyone much more than that -- it is pretty simple."
Andrew Calabria from Calabria Family Wines focused on the diversity
of its wines and in particular its Barossa vineyard portfolio.
"Buyers are coming for better quality Australian wines as it is clear
they are wanting to step up and they are happy to spend a few more
PROWEIN CONTINUES TO EXPAND
JAMES WELLS, PUBLISHER OF NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS, ATTENDED PROWEIN IN DÜSSELDORF LAST MONTH.
HERE ARE HIS FINDINGS.
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