The Australian wine sector had a difficult start to 2020 with bushfires followed by the challenges posed by coronavirus, but Majestic Wine is seeing growing evidence that its customers are rallying round to support the nation’s wine producers.

In the fourth in this series focusing on Majestic’s 2020 range review, DRN caught up with wine buyer Beth Pearce MW, to find out why she decided to double the number of different Australian wines the UK retailer stocks in her first range review since becoming a Master of Wine in January. 

Pearce says that although key challenges still remain, she believes “there has never been a better time to discover Ozzie wines”, and she updated the range accordingly. And as a result, she says, sales have grown considerably for Majestic’s Australian wine category since January.

For decades, a large proportion of Australian wine in the UK has been either Chardonnay or Shiraz. The two varieties make up 44% of the total wine production from the country. However, Pearce believes that customers shouldn’t just stop at these when they browse what’s on offer.

She says: “There’s so much to shout about and to help customers to discover from Australia. It’s truly vast, both in the variety on offer (even within the classic Chardonnay/Shiraz axis) and across the board – in terms of quality, innovation and provenance.”

Majestic stores across the country will now be showcasing new regions for the retailer, including Tumbarumba and Gundagai, alongside a raft of new grapes varieties hitting their shelves.

Pearce adds: “We are bringing in some new grapes from Australia including Fiano, Marsanne and Tempranillo, alongside some new regions and classic offers. It’s a country I am deeply passionate about, and their wines even more so.

“So I’m delighted with the steps we’ve taken to really showcase the exciting developments from Down Under. This is particularly pertinent after such a difficult year for our friends and suppliers in Australia, and I’m delighted to see our customers responding so well to the changes.”

Majestic is now stocking a number of new wines including: Three Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 (£12.99 Mix Six or £14.99 per bottle ); Tahbilk ‘The Tower’ Marsanne 2019 (£10.99 Mix Six or £12.99 per bottle); and Yalumba Y Series Tempranillo (£7.49 Mix Six or £9.49 per bottle).