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Australian producers aim to boost fortified wine sales

Australia’s fortified wine producers are planning to re-ignite interest in the languishing category.

Their prime target will be 25-44 year-old drinkers who, they say, only spend about 5% of their alcoholic beverage budget on fortifieds.

Research conducted for the Winemakers Federation of Australia, has shown that this group enjoy wine but lack understanding about the sort of occasions fortifieds can be drunk and how they should be served.

Committee chairman, Colin Campbell, said that some of the results were encouraging.

‘It indicated that fortifieds have the ‘wow’ factor once consumers experience the products for the first time,’ he said.

The research had identified different roles for the principal fortifieds – Sherry, Port, Muscat and Tokay – and strategies were being developed to improve the understanding of them among restaurateurs and staff in retail shops.

Australia’s main region for fortifieds is Rutherglen, in north-eastern Victoria, where the best known producers are All Saints, Campbells, Chambers, Morris and Stanton & Culleen.

Baileys at nearby Glenrowan and the South Australian regions of Barossa Valley, where Seppeltsfield is based, and McLaren Vale, home of Hardys, are also well known.

It’s hoped the initiative will help to stabilise annual sales, which are decreasing at about 3%, but also at boosting revenues beyond the current estimate of AUS$100m a year by increasing the value per litre.

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Written by Chris Snow in Adelaide

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