Australia’s wine trade organization has created a tour of six major US cities in September. The education effort hopes to connect American consumers to as many Australian wines as possible, making it easier for trading to retailers and restaurants.
The campaign premieres with three days in New York City on September 17-19, featuring the Australian Women in Wine Awards.
The US is key destination for Australian wines: it is the country's second largest destination for wine in value terms and third largest in volume.
The Australian government has invested AUS $50m ($33m USD) over four years (2017-2020) to grow the country's wine exports and showcase wine tourism. The two main export targets for the investment are the US as a ‘mature, healthy’ wine market, and China as an ‘emerging’ market.
Shifting from value to premium
Aaron Ridgway of Wine Australia told BeverageDaily that this is the largest-scale campaign put on by Wine Australia in the US.
Ridgway said that the organization oversees wine production, labeling, exports, sustainability and research and development, and that Australian wine has grown by $1bn in last five years globally.
Andreas Clark, CEO of Wine Australia, said "We’ll be driving awareness of Australia’s fine wine across social and digital media channels and through media partnerships, and all activities will be underpinned by the Australian Wine Made Our Way brand, celebrating the authenticity and diversity of the Australian wine scene."
"While Australian wine exports to the US grew 2% to $432m in the year ended June 2019, much work remains to increase our market share in the world’s biggest wine market."
Wine Australia wants to take advantage of the global wine market moving on from value-brand, inexpensive wines to more premium wines selling for more $10. Regional labels, single variety labels and growth in champagne are all happening within the Australian market.
“We think there’s a lot of market appetite, and we’ve worked to lay foundations for Australian wine as something that’s creative and exciting and worthy of consideration,” Ridgway said.
Shiraz, Chardonnay and Cabernet
After kicking off in New York, the campaign will move on to Chicago (September 23), Miami (September 25), Dallas (September 27), Los Angeles (October 1), San Francisco (October 3) and Lake Tahoe (October 6-10). The lineup includes trade tastings, educational seminars and networking opportunities.
Though Australia is mainly known for producing Shiraz wine, Ridgway said that in terms of varieties popular with Americans, Chardonnay and Cabernet have been growing and doing well. He hopes that the Far From Ordinary campaign will grow the Australian market in a healthy way, not with a flash of popularity that dies out after the roadshow completes.
“We think there’s still infinite stories to tell about amazing small producers and some bigger producers that might be working organically or sustainably,” Ridgway said.
"It’s really just about trying to lift this huge continent that’s on the other side of the world and put it down in some of the major wine markets around [the US] and say ‘hey, come along’.”