March has seen two major wine fair taking place around the world and both have seen a large presence of Australian wineries.

Europe’s biggest wine-trade fair, ProWein, and China’s pre-eminent food and drinks fair in Chengdu have both featured record numbers of Australian producers and brands as Wine Australia helps to showcase Australian wine in these crucial markets.

Australia’s ProWein stand featured an education area hosting tutored tastings, a wine bar and a massively-oversubscribed Margaret River master class in the ProWein Forum.

Jonathan O’Neill, Regional Export Manager for Angove Family Winemakers, said he was delighted with the response from international buyers.

“The wave of optimism on the stand was infectious and the stand was buzzing with producers securing new business and buyers finding new Australian brands” O’Neill said.

“Our meeting book was full before the show started and we also had several walk-up meetings we weren’t expecting.

“We were amazed by the number of inquiries from Eastern Europe and Russia, where Australian wine still has limited distribution and presence, and it also looks like Angove Family Winemakers will re-enter the German market.”

Gemtree’s Wines Managing Director Mike Brown attended both ProWein and Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair within the week and remarked at the considerable scale of both Wine Australia exhibits.

“The fairs are quite literally worlds apart and the audiences are vastly different but the energy at both events is extraordinary,” he said.

The Australian Government’s $50m Export and Regional Wine Support Package is helping to drive momentum in China, a market which now accounts for nearly 40 per cent of Australia’s total wine exports. There is also a growing demand for premium Australian wines, which Wine Australia said “reflects the growing maturity and appreciation for wine in the surging Chinese market”.

Paul Squires, owner and director of Buller Wine from Rutherglen, said their business had made a strategic decision to participate in Wine Australia events when it entered the China market.

“Chengdu has been very interesting in that we obtained lots of leads from the trade show in the last few days, people were particularly interested in our premium wines. We’ve been very fortunate to see these leads convert already, which is a great result,” Squires said.

In total there were 83 producers on the Wine Australia stand at ProWein with more than 500 wines poured from every major region, while Chengdu hosyed over 50 exhibitors and 80 brands.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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