Exporting Wine from Australia

Although Australia has a while to go before it can catch up with the wine-exporting giants of the world in Europe, Australia accounts for over 6% of global wine exports, which is nothing to be sniffed at. 

This article will discuss the government’s role in the Australian wine industry and the history of wine and brandy shipments in Australia over the last decades. 

Wine Australia

Before diving into the Australian wine industry statistics, let’s go over the beginning of Wine Australia in 1981, formally known as The Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, before 2010. 

Although the acronym in the late 1900s for The Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation of AWBC sounds like it could be the next television networking channel, the government created the legislation to enable Australia to meet its duties concerning wine-trading agreements.

What Does Wine Australia Do?

The organization is responsible for:

  • National and worldwide marketing of wine.
  • Guaranteeing the integrity of wine labels.
  • Ensuring producer compliance with wine-making techniques, worker regulations, etc.
  • Assisting producers so they can raise the quality of grape products and increase demand across the country.
  • Identifying and mapping the numerous production locations throughout Australia. Wine Australia identifies the grape varietals that may be used to make Australian wine and give specific names to the places and areas where these grapes are cultivated. 
  • Regulating the identification of the wine, for example, vintage or not, grape variety, or location. 
  • The legislation also provides space for Wine Australia to take on any future responsibilities related to grape products that may be necessary.

Statistics About the Australian Wine Industry

History of Sales from the Mid-1990s to 2009

Australia’s wine industry saw extraordinary growth between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s due to a significant rise in demand from international customers. In 1996 the Australian wine industry had its sights set on reaching $4.5 billion in sales by the year 2025. Just nine years later, in 2005, they had already surpassed this estimation! This growth occurred despite several challenges facing the industry as a whole. 

However, in the financial year between 2006-2007, wine grape yields fell by 30% compared to the year before. 

Although output rose again in 2007-2008, due to ongoing water constraints, high temperatures in late January and early February 2009, and bushfires in Victoria, important output was reduced in 2008–2009. Consequently, the 2008-2009 crop yield was 13% lower than the 2007-2008 harvest [2].

As you can see, Australia’s wine industry is a little volatile and unpredictable. However, they have still improved significantly on the estimations made in 1996.

Wineries Between 1995 to 2021

The huge increase in exports could have been more accurately projected if the Australian government had predicted that there would be a dramatic increase in the number of wineries from 892 to 2008 between 1996 to 2006. This caused the number of people directly engaged in the industry to surge from 15,743 to over 31,000 between 1995 and 2006

Currently, in 2021 there are around 2156 wineries in Australia, which still shows the Australian wine industry is growing, just not at such a rapid rate as seen in the late 1990s to early 2000s.

Australian Wine Report for 2020-2021

The most recent wine report for 2020-2021 indicated that Australia exported 693 million liters of wine, totaling $2.6 billion in value. 24% of the monetary income of these exports came from China.

To learn more about the Australian wine market, you can read the previous reports by the Australian Government on the Wine Australia website

Summary

Hopefully, you now understand the Australian government’s role in the Australian wine industry and how the birth of Wine Australia changed the Australian grape-product market in the past few decades. 

Read The Day In Wine History’s previous post, Australian Wines: An Industry Against The Odds, for more information about the history of the Australian wine industry and how this relates to the Second World War. 

On This Day

On 1st December 2008 – The Australia-EC Wine Agreement was finalized by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Stephen Smith, and the European Union Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mariann Fisher-Boel. As a result, Australia’s vineyards could continue to export their products to the biggest market in the world. 

Immediately after the Australia-EC Wine Agreement was signed, Australia sold 397 million liters or $1.3 billion of wine to the EU during the 2007–2008 fiscal year alone. Additionally, Australia imported 18 million liters of wine from Europe, further highlighting the economic significance of this contract.

More resource: Australian Wines: An Industry against the Odds

References

  1. Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Amendment Bill 2009. (2022). Aph.gov.au. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd0910/10bd021?print=1‌
  2. Australia Bureau of Statistics. Shipments of Wine and Brandy in Australia by Australian Winemakers and Importers. Cat. No. 8504.0, ABS, Canberra, 2014. Austats. Web.
  3. Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Amendment Bill 2009. (2022). Aph.gov.au. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd0910/10bd021?print=1
  4. Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Amendment Bill 2009. (2022). Aph.gov.au. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd0910/10bd021?print=1
  5. Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Amendment Bill 2009. (2022). Aph.gov.au. https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd0910/10bd021?print=1
  6. Australia Bureau of Statistics. Shipments of Wine and Brandy in Australia by Australian Winemakers and Importers. Cat. No. 8504.0, ABS, Canberra, 2014. Austats. Web.
  7. Wine Australia https://www.wineaustralia.com/market-insights/australian-wine-sector-at-a-glance

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