Saturday, December 15, 2018

So what happens next in Australia? What's the story about Australian wine right now?

Over the past 10 years, Australian wine exports to America have come and gone.  That’s partially due to changing wine tastes and stylistic preferences, but the great Recession in America also hurt wine exporters the world over. Much of the same financial burdens being faced in America, were also being faced in the UK and elsewhere. There were simply less sales available, for everyone. Australian wine exports, much like exports from almost every wine producing country, were hurt during the recession.

So Australia has made some changes…

So what changed other than pushing for new markets like China and more aggressively California?
Shiraz continues to be the most planted grape and most talked about grape.  But, there’s a lot more to like, and things that wine drinkers like seemingly increase by the day. It helps to have a receptive public.

There’s a new generation of vintners making different choices than their parents did in terms of the types of grapes being planted.  For years, Australian wine seemingly was focused on cheap Cabernet Sauvignon and more expensive Shiraz. Really good Grenache and Chardonnay; also more more Pinot Noir are being pushed now to much success.

If there is one….That’s really the take away story about Australian wine right now. 

Generally, we spend so much time talking about new world and old world wine regions.  Often we think of old world wine regions like France being set in their ways.  Others, like Italy have gone through their own Renaissance too, including the very changes of the way that wine is made.  

Australia is behaving pretty much like every other ‘new’ world region, things change over time. 
For instance, It’s noticeable that Napa Valley has seen a renewed focus on acidity in wine for example. There’s a movement away from big blackberry explosive wines. Hence, it’s normal for Australia to continue to change with the times and earn greater sales worldwide based on those similar efforts.

So what happens next in Australia?

I think you’ll see more of the same. First, you’ll see the continued plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in Australia. People can’t get enough of it. Australia’s Cabernet have a different profile to other cabernets. Plus it’s the only true international grape that grows well in the country and there are easy sales to be had.  Furthermore, I think you’ll see a renewed focus on an alternative white wine to Chardonnay.  Chardonnay is getting really crowded in the marketplace. It’s everywhere.

Australia has the chance to grow some absolutely world class Marsanne, Semillon, Roussane and Viognier.

….To be continued

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