The global wine trade can now connect with Australian wineries via a virtual marketplace – Australian Wine Connect – replacing global expos and on-ground activity impacted by travel constraints.
More than 1,500 trade representatives from 44 countries registered for the launch events of Connect.
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark said that with 232 Australian wineries featured and more than 2,000 wines, Connect was already creating multiple sales leads daily between wineries, importers, retailers and on-trade.
“Its unique virtual expo format presents a new way of doing business,” he says.
“It was designed to bring people together, regardless of location, time zones or travel restrictions, enabling business conversations with Australian wineries.
“The fact that hundreds of wine trade members from across the globe have already registered and many sales conversations have started with Australian wineries – meaningful, impactful connections – within the first week of its launch is hugely encouraging.”
The interactive platform is now live and free to join for members of the global wine trade. It is split into three sections: Expo, Discover and Conversations.
Expo is Wine Australia’s answer to trade fairs for the next 12 months and beyond, with a powerful search functionality that allows buyers to match with new and exciting wineries across the country, searching by style, producer and even import markets.
Discover is the educational element, offering in-depth information on all of Australia’s wine regions. This section also allows for trade to explore specially curated wine selections based on topical themes.
The Conversations section hosts all of the up-and-coming sessions that includes thought-leadership keynotes, virtual tasting, and also allows the community to view previous tastings and masterclasses.
The first of the Connect conversations will be held on Wednesday 12 May (USA and UK), featuring a virtual tasting and discussion putting Australia’s regional expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon into a global context.
This comparative tasting and discussion will include guests from the USA, Canada, the UK and Germany, with an equally international expert panel – Mary Gorman-McAdams MW, John Szabo MS and Oz Clarke OBE. Another session on 14 May (Asia-Pacific) will see a live discussion with award-winning wine and sake educator Corinne Mui, followed by a replay of the conversation with our panellists. Register now via Connect Conversations.
Every quarter, Wine Australia will host keynote panel discussions with global thought-leaders on the Future of Drinking.
On the first Tuesday of every month they will uncover the uniqueness of Australia’s climate, landscape and regional wines through the lens of a specific variety or style.
Wine Australia’s head of Education Development, Mark Davidson will host intimate and informative chats with the winemakers and viticulturists who are challenging convention and blazing new trails in the search for quality, individuality and diversity.
This monthly focus will also be supported by localised virtual tastings in multiple cities around the globe.
Mr Clark said expanding the breadth and diversity of Australian wines available in international markets is another key focus for Connect.
“The US Market Entry program, a highly effective business matching program for wineries seeking distribution in the US, will be tripled in size for the next year to help meet demand and allow US trade to expand their portfolios of Australian wines,” he says.
“Similar programs such as Explore Canada and Explore UK will be launched for wineries looking to enter these markets in June and September this year respectively.
“Agents, importers and key customers in both markets will have the opportunity to browse a curated list of wineries enrolled in the program, request meetings and begin sales conversations.”
Mr Clark said more than 60 wineries have registered to date for North American new-to-market programs.
Wine Australia has also partnered with Austrade and Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL) to offer free ‘Meet the Buyer’ events across key Asian markets.
Helping wineries secure meetings with buyers and market briefings are already well underway for Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, with many more to come over the next year.