Australian wine-makers ready to curate for Indian consumers’ taste to boost exports

Australian exporters send over 18,000 different varieties of wines to around 100 destinations worldwide. 

Australian government’s trade wing, Austrade, has partnered with Wine Australia to develop the Wine Export Ready Hub. This is a comprehensive digital knowledge hub to help Australian wine producers grow their wine sales internationally. The Hub will collate information and provide how-to guides to help wine producers understand the export process. 

This project builds on the outcomes of the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (AI-CECA) and the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) negotiations.

The recently signed agreements proposes to further boost two-way trade in goods and services between India and Australia which has grown in value from $13.6 billion in 2007 to $24.3 billion in 2020.

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Damien Griffante, Director of Strategy & International Affairs at the Australian Grape & Wine, told The Australia Today that the Free trade Agreement is a good starting point:

“The Free Trade Agreement and these initial engagements represent a good starting points to establishing a much greater longer term trade relationship. India remains a long term priority of the Australian wine sector and we will continue to work to build on technical exchange and regulatory cooperation in growing the market.”

Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA
Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA

Dr Martin Cole, who is CEO of Wine Australia, notes that around 60 per cent of Australia’s wine production is exported each year. He adds that the profitability of the Australian wine sector is strongly linked to exports. Cole says:

“Many wine producers are developing strategies to intensify exports and to enter new markets, and we’re delighted to launch the Wine Export Ready Hub in partnership with Austrade to support these activities.”   

Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA
Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA

According to Wine Australia’s Export Report, the value of wine exports grew in 71 destinations in the year to March 2022. Australia has more than 6,000 grape growers, 2,000 wineries, and 1,000 exporters who send over 18,000 different varieties of wines to around 100 destinations worldwide.  

Two years ago, the Australian government committed $72.7 million to establish the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative. This aims to help Australian agribusiness exporters to grow sales in overseas markets.  

Mr Griffante adds that such an agreement will help in a lot of ways to boost business between Australia and India. He says:

“Improving market access and removing barriers to trade will benefit local economies through expanding local investment opportunities, building the wine category as a whole, and providing consumer choice for a broader range of high quality Australian and Indian wine.“ 

Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA
Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA

Further, Australian Grape & Wine Incorporated, the national association of winegrape and wine producers, is also undertaking a long-term strategy to improve the economic viability of Australian wine exports to India.

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According to a statement by Australian Grape & Wine, this includes “a series of initiatives focused on collaborative technical and regulatory cooperation to grow the market, remove trade barriers and improve access.”

Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA
Australian Wine; Image Source: @CANVA

CEO of Austrade Xavier Simonet told Foodmag that the industry-first free digital hub will fuel Australia’s wine exporters to go further and faster. He says: 

“Australia produces some of the world’s most sought-after wines, and the new Wine Export Ready Hub will help our producers get more product to consumers the world-over. This one-stop-shop, developed by Austrade and Wine Australia, will provide clear, comprehensive answers to wine producers’ most pertinent export questions.” 

Australian Grape & Wine notes that the key measures to develop the wine market for Australian exports to India are:

  • Building trust and relations with the Indian wine sector to use our technical, regulatory and marketing expertise and collaboratively build wine as a category in India.
  • A strong collaborative relationship improves our ability to advocate for policy, technical and regulatory improvements as well as supporting advocacy for further reduction in import tariffs under the next negotiating rounds for the AI-CECA.
  • Expanding government-to-government relations with the aim of building regulatory and technical cooperation that builds on the AI-CECA side letter on Trade and Production of Wine.

A delegation of Indian industry and government visited Australia to participate in the Australian Wine Technical Conference held on 26 to 29 June 2022.

This conference presented the perfect platform to introduce a large number of Australian wine sector participants in one place. Further, it allowed the Australian wine sector to highlight the local technical proficiency in winemaking and expertise in distribution.

The Indian delegation also travelled to Barossa Cellar to meet with James March, CEO of Barossa Grape and Wine and Louisa Rose, Yalumba head winemaker and Chair of Barons of Barossa.

The Indian delegation at Barossa Cellar (Australian Grape & Wine)

As per reports, the Indian delegates have shown a particular interest in Sparkling wines and other innovative wine-based beverages and spirits that would meet the consumer’s preferences. The report notes:

“Some suggested that Indian alcohol consumers, accustomed to higher alcohol spirits and beer already considered traditional wine as a lower alcohol alternative and that no alcohol wines may not be able to compete with a consumer preference for sweeter juice, soft drink and other beverages in India.” 

Australian Grape & Wine points out that the next stage of the collaboration will involve a return delegation of Australian winemakers and distributors to engage with their counterparts in India. Griffante says:

“Australian Grape & Wine will continue to working with our government and industry colleges in India to grow investment and build up the wine category in India for mutual benefit of our sectors.“

This project led by Australian Grape & Wine is supported by Australian government funding through the ATMAC program and is being run in collaboration with AWRI (Technical), Wine Australia (Regulatory and Marketing) and Austrade (Resourcing & Food and Wine Marketing).