A recent guest blog post, as featured on the Emerson Graduate IMC Blog, January 24, 2012:
Most wine drinkers, even wine neophytes, know where the best wines in the world traditionally come from: France and Italy. Wine drinkers are ingrained to think of Bordeaux, Champagne and Italian Reds as some of the best in the world –but if there’s one thing wine lovers know even more than where to find the finest pours, it is where to find bad wine and how to avoid it.
Australia is a notorious offender in the bad wine department.
Although parts of Australia have been producing wine for over one hundred years, recently Australia’s global wine production reputation has been tainted, thanks mostly to large wine corporations that make up 75% of Australia’s wine exports annually and mass produce cheap, low quality wine for export.
In addition to a poor reputation, Australian exports also began suffering because of increased competition in the global market – a market that Australian wineries had once captured large UK and US market shares due to a lack of competition from other emerging wine producing regions like South Africa, Argentina and Chile for mainly political reasons. Now that the UK, US, Canada and other global market were importing inexpensive wine from these other regions, Australia had much more competition in the low priced international wine market.
In 2009 a group of family owned Australian winemakers formed an alliance called “Australia’s First Families of Wine” and underwent a large scale marketing initiative to differentiate these 12 families, their vineyards, and their wines from the rest of the Australian competition. In August 2009 they a marketing initiative to set them apart from the negative connotations of mass-production and low-quality that the much larger Australian wine corporations had created for Australian wines. Their aim was to “change the global perception of Australian wine,” as announced by their Chairman Alister Purbrick at the launch, “We don’t believe as individual companies we can stem the avalanche of news stories about Australia producing nothing but cheap industrial wines. But together we can present a powerful showcase of terrific regional wines of great diversity.”