The first public sign of division in Australia’s wine export marketing drive has appeared with Australian Vintage’s threat to withdraw from the UK program.
Australian Vintage’s UK general manager Paul Schaafsma, said Wine Australia’s marketing strategy was flawed because it was focussing on regionality rather than style and variety.
Schaafma’s claim was rebutted yesterday by Lisa McGovern, Wine Australia’s UK director.
‘The Wine Australia program is not exclusively centred on regionality and we are aware that communicating Australia’s stylistic evolution is key to maintaining trade and consumer interest,’ McGovern said.
Alister Purbrick, the head of the newly-launched Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW), said he could understand Australia’s Vintage’s approach because it was a very large, low cost producer with facilities including a 170,000-tonne winery – but regionality and single vineyard promotion was ‘absolutely key’.
Purbrick added the Wine Australia program was having difficulty in achieving ‘cut-through’ because it had to cater for all categories of wine.
A spokesperson for Constellation said the company continued to support Wine Australia. Other major producers Orlando and Foster’s did not respond to requests for comment.
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Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide