Hardy: approach regionality carefully

Hardy,Constellation Wines News Wine News
  • Monday 4 February 2008

Australia must concentrate on getting its price points up and not ‘rush headlong’ into regionality, veteran winemaker Bill Hardy has said.

Speaking to decanter.com at last week’s Australia Day Tastings in London, the Hardy Wine Company’s ambassador/oenologist made clear he was in favour of the ‘thrust into regionality’, as he put it.

He said it would be ‘fascinating to see how it goes,’ and added, ‘but it would be foolish to try to concentrate on too many regions. I think we should keep it to around ten.’

As reported on decanter.com the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation is embarking on a three-month drive to educate the UK trade – and consumers – on 15 different regions and their flagship grape varieties.

‘I think it is a good idea,’ Hardy said. ‘I am not advocating putting the brakes on but I also think we should not rush headlong into it.

‘I don’t think regionality is the complete cure to all the problems in the industry.’

Hardy was speaking about the difficulties, after decades of selling Australian wine at entry-level and discount prices, of getting the buying public to accept higher price points.

He said the ‘struggle to move upmarket’ was the result of the surplus of the last few years, when Australian wines have become cheaper and cheaper, and also the result of Australia’s dependability at the lower price points.

‘With French wine, there is such inconsistency at the lower end, consumers may pay more to guarantee quality. But we’ve done such a good job, the consumer has no reason to trade up.’

The Hardy Wine Company is part of Constellation Brands.

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