Wine Australia aiming to champion fine wine

Wine Australia is ramping up its focus on the UK and particularly retailers that champion fine wine, according to the generic body’s new general manager.

Stuart Barclay, who previously worked at Wine Rack and Thresher before moving Down Under, told OLN: “The UK is looking very interesting again from an Australian perspective. It is our biggest market and is a trading hub, more so than in the past. We want to do more in this market. It’s strategically important to us. It sends a message to Europe as well.

“There were exchange rate issues but exchange rates are working in our favour now, so Australia is becoming more appealing to buyers.

“We want to promote a fine wine angle and [capitalise on] the halo effect downwards. Australia is such a big producing country that we can provide the consumer and the trade many different styles.

“Sales of wines over £15 are increasing. We have that diversity and regionality than can play through in that tier. When you have 65 different wine regions you have a lot to talk about. There is room for these wines in big supermarkets too.”

Barclay, who is 10 weeks into the job, added: “One of our biggest challenges is the sad loss of Yvonne May last year. With Laura Jewell coming on board next month, she will face the challenge of how to get the Australian message across at all segments of the market and drive that category over here.”

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