By James Atkinson
The wine industry myth that only small, family-owned wineries make authentic, quality wine needs to be put to rest, according to Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) CEO David Dearie.
In an exclusive interview following his address at an American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) luncheon yesterday, Dearie told TheShout that many family-owned wineries and wine writers are quick to knock 'big wine', with the latter preferring to "showcase all these boutique brands and labels".
He said he is supportive of the Australia's First Families of Wine (AFFW) initiative, but he pointed out that AFFW members together sell significantly more lower-priced wine as a group than Treasury Wine Estates.
"We have a more premium portfolio, so that myth of only small is good actually doesn't quite bear out when you look at the facts."
"But I think ultimately anything we can do as an Australian wine business that promotes the quality and health of Australian wine is good," Dearie added.
Earlier, he told the AmCham luncheon that "size matters, but it matters only because of what it enables us to do,and that is to make better, higher quality, wine".
He said TWE's size makes it far better placed to give its winemakers the very best possible support by investment in technical skills and innovative viticultural practices.
"I have no doubt that, because of our size, we are able to offer consistent quality at every price point," Dearie said.
"But don’t just take my word for it, the results speak for themselves! Across our brands TWE wins more medals at the world’s leading wine shows than anyone else."
"In the last financial year, 21 trophies and 101 gold medals, with an overall medal/trophy success rate of 61 per cent - versus an average rate for our competitors of roughly 40 per cent."
Dearie's comments came on the same day as TWE faced a social media campaign led by McLaren Vale's Ducks In A Row, regarding the boutique winery's use of an amphora that Treasury owns.