The Randall Wine Group has bought organic wine brand Gemtree Wines in McLaren Vale.
“Organic wine production presents a big opportunity. Gemtree is both a valuable and natural addition to the group.
“Organic wine sales are on the march, by 2.5 fold internationally and fifteen-fold domestically in the last 10 years, while non-organic wine sales declined.
“Australia possesses natural climatic attributes that are conducive to the crafting of organic wine in both the vineyard and the winery.
“Our hot and dry Mediterranean climate in McLaren Vale is entirely suited to world class organic and biodynamic wines and yet we are the 11th in the world in terms of organic vineyard area with only one percent of the world’s organic vineyards.
“There is a significant opportunity for Australian wine to penetrate the biggest organic wine markets in the world, like Germany, France, United Kingdom, United States of America and Sweden.
“Canada, Japan and New Zealand also present future opportunity.”
Gemtree’s organic wine portfolio will be overseen by co-founder Mike Brown at Boar’s Rock winery in McLaren Vale – the largest premium organically certified winery in Australia, acquired by the Randall Wine Group in 2019.
“The global expansion of the Gemtree brand will also be supported by a number of private McLaren Vale organically certified growers,” Randall says.
The Randall Wine Group, established in 1978, is Australia’s largest private luxury vineyard holder with more than 9,000 acres in eight premium regions across South Australia.
Gemtree was established by Mike and Melissa Brown 25 years ago – in 1998.
Warren, Mike and Melissa have enjoyed a long-term friendship forged through the McLaren Vale wine industry dating back to 1994, when Warren first employed Mike as a cellar hand at Andrew Garrett Wines.
Gemtree exports to Canada, United States of America, Hong Kong, Denmark, Singapore, New Zealand and Sweden – which recently placed an order for 300,000 bottles of Gemtree organic Shiraz.
Randall says the acquisition of the Gemtree brand is “the final piece of the jigsaw” to propel the Randall Wine Group onto the organic world wine stage.
The Randall Wine Group acquired the celebrated Hiltop organic vineyard in McLaren Vale earlier this year which was also planted 25 years ago.
“The 200 acre Hiltop vineyard is the largest single, 100 percent organic vineyard in a premium region in Australia and will be managed by the Australian master of organic viticulture, Melissa Brown,” Randall says.
Gemtree was a significant exporter to China before the punitive tariffs were applied in March 2021.
“The potential reopening of China presents another excellent export opportunity for Gemtree as it reclaims its previous position,” Randall says.
Meanwhile Randall says the wine industry is not doing enough to attract young consumers, like the Millennials (27 to 42) and entice them to become regular wine consumers.
“Currently, Millennials buy much less wine than the Boomers,” Randall says.
“They are more educated and aware and have a greater appreciation of choices and the provenance of what they eat and drink.
“They are more likely to seek and understand the winemaking techniques used to craft the wine they are buying and consuming.
“An organic or biodynamically crafted wine brand with genuine provenance and integrity, like Gemtree, is more likely to appeal than a generic, non-organic wine brand in the supermarkets with no provenance.
“They are smart and savvy consumers and sustainability is also paramount in their purchasing decisions.”
The Randall Wine Group achieved 100 percent sustainable certification in early 2023.
Photograph: From left – Warren Randall, Melissa Brown and Mike Brown. Photographer: Asher Milgate, Considered Image.