Cate Blanchett: The Face of Australian Wine?

22 July, 2009 by

By Andrew Starke

Australia needs to be re-branded if the country wants to sell quality wines on the international market, according to Felicity Carter, an Australian who is editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International.

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Speaking to members and guests of the Wine Communicators of Australia this week, Carter did not pull her punches in assessing the state of the local wine industry.

“While the Australian wine industry is emphasising its cool climate winemaking and diverse terroirs, everything else the world hears about Australia emphasises its heat and plays up the country as either a place full of yobs, or else backward old fashioned types who haven’t caught up with the modern world,” she said.

“Make no mistake – there are tough times ahead for the Australian wine industry. The competition is fiercer, money is tighter and it may be that recent changes in consumer behaviour will be permanent – that people want distinct, authentic, interesting wines at a lower price.”

The global oversupply of wine is going to result in nasty contractions, while the project to sort out Australia’s best sites is going to be a long term one,” she said.

As a parting shot Carter suggested Cate Blanchett be named Australia’s official wine ambassador.

“She is the living embodiment of Australian wine – classically trained, sophisticated, international, recognisable and yet uniquely Australian,” opined Carter.

For a full transcript of all Carter had to say, click here.