By James Wells in Düsseldorf
(South Africa is not alone in its export and exposure woes)
Australian wine companies exhibiting and visiting ProWein including Hungerford Hill, Brown Brothers, Electic Wines and Bird in Hand have asked for more assistance from Wine Australia for next year’s exhibition.
Wine Australia decided not to exhibit at this year’s fair after a series of previous attendances.
Previously an Australian stand offered smaller wineries an opportunity to be represented at the exhibition as well as operating as a geographical focus for other exhibitors.
Among the Australian wine companies represented at this year’s exhibition were: Treasury Wine Estates, Constellation/Accolade Wines, Peter Lehmann Wines, Brown Brothers, Cumulus Wines, Nugan Estate, Eclectic Wines, Langmeil, Bird in Hand, New Holland, Dominic Wines, D’Aquino Wines, Miles From Nowhere, Warburn Estate, Cranswick Wines, Stella Bella Wines, Kingston Estate Wines, Kaesler and Kilikanoon Wines.
Paul Stuart, managing director of Eclectic Wines in the Hunter Valley has been attending ProWein for the past five years and admits that the wine business is difficult with a high Australian dollar and the uncertain European economy.
“We are in ever-diminishing circles here with the number of Australian companies. This is the least number of stands we have seen here in Germany.”
Paul Dunn – brand ambassador – UK & Europe for the Bird in Hand winery in the Adelaide Hills believes Australia is losing ground to other international markets including Chile and South Africa.
“I honestly believe this is the business fair for Europe. I hope that Wine Australia and other wineries will support this fair,” he said.
“Australia needs a messsage to say we’re here and we’re back. We need to explain what is happening with the dollar, even though there may be some difficult conversations, we need to front up to it – that’s what Australians are good at.”
Brown Brothers European sales and marketing director, Gail Gilbert, would also like to see some more support.
“I’d love to see more Australian companies be part of this and love to see Wine Australia giving us some support and having the government get behind us here, as it is so worthwhile to be part of this event,” he said.
“It is once a year, it is well supported and we need more support so get on over here Australia.”