By James Atkinson
Australia’s wine producers need to be weaned off their addiction to WET rebates so they can be sufficiently motivated to sell the majority of the wine they produce overseas, says Kingston Estate Wines managing director Bill Moularadellis.
At last week’s Wine Industry Outlook Conference, Moularadellis said every Australian wine producer has a responsibility to sell 60 per cent of what they produce in international markets.
“That’s our share of the heavy lifting. The big elephant in the room… is what policy setting is preventing people from getting out there and selling wine internationally?” he said.
“That is this drug that we are on called rebate. It is an addiction that we must wean ourselves off of, because what it is doing is preventing us from focusing our attention as a collective onto markets that we should be.”
“We do need to get on the methadone program… so we can actually start focusing on where we have to sell this wine,” Moularadellis said.
On the same panel, Accolade Wines general manager – Asia Pacific, Michael East said the country’s wine producers needed to make themselves more relevant to retailers in the domestic market, as reported yesterday on Smart Licensee.
But Moularadellis said focusing on the domestic market is only part of the solution.
“We produce more wine than we can sell in this country. If we don’t set the policy so that 2500 producers have to get on aeroplanes then we will all be condemned to this oversupply because we’re not getting out there to sell wine where we need to,” the Kingston Estate boss said.