Several years ago the Monash winery (as it is known), found itself in the hands of (another) new owner, David Harris. Little known in the region, David arrived and set about tidying up the facility and building a new wine business, Riverland Vintners.
Many observers muttered… “Good luck old son, if you can overcome the voodoo of that place, you’ll be a miracle worker”. Now, with sleeves rolled up, ready for the 2016 vintage David has developed a loyal group of followers, prepared to be bold and willing to have a go, no longer feeling obliged to ‘tug their forelocks’ to the usual suspects!
In talking with David recently, it seems Riverland Vintner’s (RV) growers have had a good year placing the 2015 vintage wines through the company’s wine broking business: South Australian Wine Group. He added, “Some of our growers who market their wine independent of our activities are also in a much stronger position than this time last year”.
Nearly all the 2015 vintage is either sold or allocated and RV is now sourcing some wines from outside the established base to meet ongoing programs until the V2016 are available.
Encouragingly David says “Clear trends are emerging in the bulk wine market as buyers are prepared to pay for a South Australian G.I. and are looking for better quality and to align themselves with individual growers. This is especially so with Asian buyers who tend to value good relationships within their supply chain”. Growth in Australian wine exports to China last year was over 40% on a volume and value basis.
According to David, China and Hong Kong now combine to represent the largest single export market for Australian Wine. Developments including the relaxation of strict Manganese compliance for the Chinese market, the new Chinese Free Trade Agreement lowering import duty (currently 18%), a lower Australian dollar and most importantly, efficiencies within the supply chain and new importers and retailers entering the wine market for the first time are having a sustainable effect on supply and demand for South Australian wine that meets their specifications on quality. These rates of growth into China and Asia are putting European and US buyers under pressure to lift their game.
David has been selling wine in China for ten years now. Chinese wine consumption was dominated by cheap local wine. It’s now unrecognizable from even five years ago. The biggest shift is that Chinese buyers now recognize quality and they are actively looking for growers that understand this and margins and costs within the supply chain have reduced significantly. This has lowered the retail price of wine in China by about a third. If you produce quality fruit and if you are interested to discuss marketing a portion of the crop as wine, in a rising bulk wine market, give David a call now 0428 818 059 or email him. No harm in talking and remember… Fortune favours the brave.