A new virtual platform to help wine buyers from around the world connect with Australian wines is set to launch on April 27.

Australian Wine Connect is designed to present a new framework for doing business at a time of reduced travel, cancelled trade exhibitions and more emphasis on digital interactivity. The “always-on” platform offers business-to-business matching services for retailers, importers and on-trade in the UK, the US, Canada, Asia and beyond.

It already has more than 230 exhibitors registered and total of over 1900 wine products, and it aims to be a “go-to resource” for Australian wine over the next 12 months. Trade will be able to conduct business with Australian wine brands in the Expo, as well as Explore and gain Education on Australia’s extraordinary and commercially robust wine scene.

Once registered, attendees can access the Expo featuring powerful search tools to allow global trade to browse Australian wines and wineries by region, style or variety and start conversations with the right brands to foster lasting relationships.

The Discover section surrounds the visitor with Australia’s spirit of innovation, showcasing its 65 diverse wine regions and varieties that make Australia so unique. The wine trade will also be able to explore new wines through specially curated collections.

Over the 12 months, the Conversations section will feature an ongoing series of live gatherings, including quarterly keynotes panel discussions on the future of drinking by global thought-leaders, a monthly deep-dive into key varieties and virtual tastings targeted to individual markets around the globe.

Growing the variety and selection of Australian brands in global markets is another key objective and there will be several programs facilitating new to market opportunities for Australian wineries in the USA, Canada, the UK and Asian markets.

The launch event on April 27 will introduce Australian Wine Connect to the international wine trade. Hosted by renowned Australian wine and drinks writer, Mike Bennie, who will lead a series of conversations with some of Australia’s cutting-edge winemakers as well as offer a preview of the platform’s many features and activities over the next twelve months.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said: “We are proud to bring the Australian spirit of innovation and creativity that we’re world-famous for, to the way we do business. Wine Australia has been working hard to develop a valuable opportunity for Australian wineries to continue marketing and selling their wines overseas this year.

“Australian Wine Connect has been designed to generate powerful commercial outcomes for the global wine community. This dynamic approach will no doubt foster hundreds of lasting relationships between Australian wine producers and international wine trade, and we are very excited to help facilitate these conversations.”

After the launch event, Connect Conversations will continue with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, including a global comparative Cabernet tasting on May 12 with panel discussions among industry experts, supported by more localised tastings for key markets. Each month will also have designated times to allow for varieties explorations for international trade.