Strong growth for Australia’s small winemakers

03 November, 2017 by Andy Young

Australia’s small winemakers have reported a second consecutive year of strong growth in revenue and production, according to a new report from Wine Australia.

The ‘Small Winemaker Production and Sales Survey 2016-17’ which was published yesterday, shows positive numbers for the winemakers who are crushing up to 500 tonnes. Both production and revenue for the small winemakers grew by 10 per cent, while they contribute an estimated eight per cent of the total Australian winegrape crush and $1.3bn in wine sales.

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The report found that retailers account for almost half of all wine sales for small winemakers and cellar doors account for nearly one-third, so the domestic market makes up the vast majority of sales. It identified cellar doors and export markets as the areas presenting the best business opportunities for small winemakers over the next five years.

Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said the findings of the report show that the growing enthusiasm for Australian wine in export markets and for regional wine tourism experiences has boosted the confidence of small winemakers.

“The report shows that while export markets currently account for 14 per cent of their wine sales on average, our smaller winemakers are optimistic about the increasing sales opportunities from export markets and visits to cellar doors’, he said.

“The Australian Government’s Export and Regional Wine Support Package will provide further opportunities for wine export growth, with applications for the Wine Export Grants anticipated to open in January 2018, and the state-based and competitive grants leading to thousands more international tourists visiting our wine regions.”

The report also found that small winemakers currently account for 35 per cent of domestic sales value and 10 per cent of export sales value.