Wine Talk

Snooth User: Stephen Harvey

Australian Wine Exports

Posted by Stephen Harvey, Jul 27, 2017.

Interesting Article on Australian Wine Exports




Reply by GregT, Jul 28, 2017.

Interesting. China is a bigger market than the US for Australian wine? Makes sense I guess.

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jul 28, 2017.

We have had a huge focus on China as they have limited quality domestic wine

US has a very strong domestic brand which off course has a very loyal domestic consumer base, but equally US has a large population with reasonable disposable income

China has a huge population with an emerging middleclass 

Reply by dmcker, Jul 28, 2017.

We'll see just how that 'middle class' emerges. Don't see it happening smoothly. My understanding is that Oz has been targeting China quite aggressively as a wine market for some time, now. Much easier market than, say, Japan, which provides plenty of lucre to Aussie exporters, but is more difficultly complex. 

China is obviously huge, but there are so many unanswered questions about how it will pan out. Have worked with very large world-class lawfirms based in the US and Britain in recent years that have confirmed so many horror stories I've heard about the place I'm shuddering now just remembering the list. I and my clients have had so many tank traps and punji pits (not mere speed bumps) placed in the way of their intellectual rights and profits expatriation starting from the late '80s, that I really need to have a very real reason for doing things there as opposed to other alternatives. But I'm small and can afford to be picky, while obviously many people still salivate at the real or imagined opportunities there.

Will be interesting to see how domestic Chinese wine establishes a stronger presence in their marketplace. Aside from issues of general quality control, no one seems to want to do any sampling for heavy metals in the juice.

How is your wine industry looking at India, Stephen?



Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jul 30, 2017.

D - yes it is a challenging experience for any product in CHina.

We have targetted China aggressively and I think the experience so far is that you need a partner in China who can make a good living selling your wine.  This is equally true in the US where you must recognise the importance of the 3 tier US system.  Many Australian Companies have tried the US on their own without a US partner and have failed

The importance of that local knowledge and influence can't be underestimated.  As you say many Australian businesses have chinese horror stories and lost huge amounts of money.  I might add this happens in many other overseas destinations.

India is a strange one, the problem at the moment for anyone exporting to India is a very penal and restrictive tax and licensing regime.  The is a lot of lobbying at Government level to try and make changes but we know that is not easy


Reply by rckr1951, Aug 4, 2017.

I have a friend in China that was the WSET Wine Educator of the Year 2016 - is the co-founder of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting in Beijing  and is WSET, CMS and SWE certified.  They have 6 sites around China and he gave me a brief lesson in Aussie and the recent French wine situations - 

Dear Paul, 
Good to hear from you!
Australian imports to China are significant and China is now Australia’s largest export market in terms of value (with the UK being most important for volume):
In terms of my own experience, it’s certainly the case that there is greater interest in Australian premium wines, especially in central and northern China. 
We now have classrooms in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Chengdu, Dalian, Shenyang and Qingdao. So I do have some sense of what people are drinking in different parts of the country. 
Australia generally has a very good image - not so much the ‘cheap and cheerful’ phenomenon, although there are good value wines to be found at the bulk end, of course. 
We also spend time educating people as to the precise reality that Australia only has about 148,000 ha of vineyard area - not that much bigger than Bordeaux. So it’s important they get a sense of real size (admittedly, Australians have traditionally been overachievers in this respect in terms of marketing and did over-expand their industry by 2005).
France has lost some of its market share by value and volume, but is still the most important COO for China. 
So, in sum, Australia is doing well in China and the future currently looks bright for them in terms of realistic growth; although I know that commentators in Australia are worried about the country’s reliance on mainland China, notwithstanding the importance of the UK and US for them too. 
Hope you’re enjoying teaching!


With best wishes, 
Dr Edward Ragg 杜慕康 
DipWSET, CMS & SWE Certified
Co-founder, Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting 龙凤美酒顾问
**WSET Educator of the Year 2016**
202 – Building 2 WANDA Plaza, 93 Jianguo Road
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100022

 A little tid bit of info from someone over there.  Paul

Reply by Stephen Harvey, Aug 6, 2017.

Thanks Paul

Its a very good summary and exactly in line from what I here in Oz

Yes we can quite easily forget that the Big 3 - France,Spain and Italy are still over 50% of global wine production

Australia sits around the 4-5% mark and I think the US is in the 6-7%

Not that long ago Gallo produced more wine than Oz in total


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