Australia has been in the throes of a wine market crisis in recent years despite its strong export success over the past two decades, in part due to structural overproduction and subsequent corporate shake-ups but also to the impact of global warming with increased incidents of drought and fires. Nevertheless, there was reason to celebrate within the wine industry on Australia Day last January 26 with the government announcement of strong growth in 2016 with new records for exports for this sector. The latter reached the figure of AUS$ 2.2 billion, a hike of 7% from the previous year. Except for Europe which saw a small decline of 3%, the value growth of wine exports increased in all regions. In China alone, sales rose by 40% with Australian products now grabbing a market share of 24%.
What was particularly encouraging to Wine Australia’s CEO Andreas Clark was the fact that although the fulcrum of the country’s reputation and commercial success has long been the mainstream mass-market brands, it was the more premium brands that took centre stage in 2016. « We’re starting to see commercial benefits from an improved perception and increasing demand for our finest wines. »