The Australian wine sector’s strong focus on the US in 2018–19 has kicked off with the inaugural Australia Decanted event at Lake Tahoe, California, where 100 key influencers from the US trade and media gained a deep understanding of Australia’s diverse and thrilling wine offering on US home soil.
Over four days from 22–26 July, 13 pre-eminent Australian winemakers shared stories about our fine wines, our stunning regions and the talented and creative people who make them.
Senator Anne Ruston, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources said, ‘Australia Decanted is an exciting part of this year’s $6.5 million investment to accelerate growth of Australian fine wine in the USA, which is the world’s largest wine consumer and largest import market by value.
‘The Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package provides the opportunity to kickstart a renewed push by our exporters into this critical market, allowing the sector to build on the export growth Australian wines are experiencing in China, the UK and Canada’, Assistant Minister Ruston said.
On location at Lake Tahoe, Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said, ‘Australia Decanted was a great platform to launch the wine sector’s strong return to the US market with the assistance of the Australian Government’s $50m Package. The US trade has told us that now is the time for Australian exporters to reengage with the US market. This event will flow into Aussie Wine Week later this year and we’ve earmarked September 2019 as Aussie Wine Month to hit the US market en masse and really grab hold of the growth opportunities available.’
Some of the feedback from participants included:
‘I’ve always enjoyed Australian wine, but it wasn’t until this week that I put the wines on par with the best wines of the world. I have new found respect for what Australia is doing and the quality of wine they’re producing.’
Jose Delgado, Sommelier at Mourad, San Francisco.
‘The unexpected quality of Pinot Noir being passionately crafted in Australia’s cooler wine-growing regions is nothing short of a revelation. But the surprises don’t stop there, as an artisanal, more restrained approach to winemaking favouring subtlety and site expression over sheer brute strength benefits better known varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The narrative is changing, and consumers will be forced to re-evaluate their conception of the wines from this immensely dynamic region.’
Ryan O’Hara, The Fermented Fruit
‘Australia Decanted has been amazing in providing an equal footing for producers, sommeliers, buyers and retailers to work together to gain an understanding of Australia’s regions, varieties and history. Everyone attending has been given a platform to understand the quality, the longevity and the nuances that make Australian wine unique. We have all taken so much away from this.’
Michael Dhillon, Bindi Wines, Victoria.
Images from Australia Decanted available here.