In this week’s instalment of citizen journalism, Terrific Boutique Wines director, Rob Jenkins, argues brewers are failing to realise profits in wine because of a fundamental lack of knowledge and passion.

“Over the past 30 years we have seen Australia’s brewers enter the wine business a couple of times only to be spat out the other end, again a couple of times each.
The Australian wine business has passionate people who nurture and sell the product with pride and integrity. In a world where the all mighty dollar is king, it is not always the case with our grape growers and winemakers.
The problem stems from CEOs not really understanding the passion involved with wine as they are used to a product that can be scaled up or down by turning on the tap harder or turning it off. The wine industry simply doesn’t work that way.

Our domestic beers are made overnight and consumed without a lot of thought, but with huge profit margins. Wine can sometimes take years to make and have a profitable return.

Foster’s has systematically ruined icon brands such as Rosemount, Seppelt, Lindemans and many more in the past four years. In the process they have lost long-term, high-quality growers and have let go or lost established winemakers within those brands, most of who have gone on to bigger and better things.

In my opinion the wine business is way better off without the big brewers involved.
Australia should also take a leaf out of New Zealand’s book: we should only seek to export our better wines i.e. $20-plus products, especially our reds.

Why should we waste water, our most precious resource, just so we can sell wine in the UK at £5:00 a bottle. It’s crazy to waste it and more so when you hear we our wines are out of favour and at the mercy of cheaper products emanating from Third World countries and, to rub salt in the wounds, with a lot of Australian expertise behind the scenes!
If you want to drink good quality from Italy or France you have to pay the price. Why should we be any different? This is where our large brewers’ sales mentality has left us in the cold because of their lack of expertise and passion.”
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the opinions of the publisher or employees of TheShout.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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