The Co-op has said it is offering support to its Australian wine producers, in a bid to help reduce the alcohol content and offer lighter wine in the “same traditional style”.

The retailer highlighted that the proposed new duty rates, which are currently being delayed, will have an impact on wine sales from warmer countries, such as Australia, “where the average bottle is 13.5 abv”.

According to Co-op, Australia is the largest country share in the UK wine market with a 21% share of the UK convenience market. Co-op sold 13.2m bottles of Australian wine in 2021, but prices could rise by 39p per 75cl bottle under the new rules, the retailer said.

“The 2022 vintage of Australian wine could be the first to be impacted, and Co-op worked with the producer on the ground at the winery to taste and assess the liquid, produce the bespoke blend, along with agreeing the desired balance of alcohol content,” the retailer said.

Gyles Walker, Co-op wine buyer, said providing customers with good value and high quality is “more important than ever” in the current climate.

“Australia is one of our biggest selling countries and one that is most at risk of these new changes, which is why we’re working with our producers to see how we can achieve bespoke Co-op Australian wine blends, aligned to the anticipated cost impact, but whilst ensuring it can still offer the style and quality our customers expect,” he added.