Winestate Magazine

Briefs

CHINA RISES

THE rise of China as the pre-eminent market for Australian wine continues. Latest Australian wine exports data reveal that China has now overtaken the US to become Australia’s largest export market by volume, increasing by 51 per cent for the year ending March to crack the billion-dollar mark - $1.04 billion, to be precise – a first for exports to a single country. The latest data, released by Wine Australia in April, paints a healthy picture for most markets, but the big story continues to be China. Australia is in an enviable position in China thanks in large part to the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement. Tariffs were reduced by half in January, and will be removed completely in January, 2019. It will provide Australia with a competitive advantage over the Europeans and Americans.

The average value (up five per cent) and average value of Australian bulk wine exported (up eight per cent) indicate an industry fully recovered from a debilitating grape oversupply of nearly three years ago. Exports increased by 16 per cent in value, reaching $2.65 billion, the highest value in a decade.

WINE VALUES

THE Australian wine industry is set to adopt a code of conduct, a broad-ranging set of guidelines embracing, among other things, gender diversity and equality. It comes as a direct result of the fall-out from a social media posting by one of the industry’s biggest wine producers, Darren De Bortoli of De Bortoli Wines, which was widely criticised as sexist. The February 6 Facebook post on his personal page showed two young women treading grapes in a wine barrel with the accompanying tagline from Mr De Bortoli: “Whip me, crush me, make me whine. I love the idea of all those nubile virgins vigorously squishing my grapes during vintage time.” The post drew criticism from a number of women, including McLaren Vale winemaker, Corrina Wright of Oliver’s Taranga.” When leaders such as yourself make comments such as these, it makes it so much harder for women such as myself to be taken seriously in my work,” she responded. “It also makes it okay for this sort of everyday sexism under the banner of humour to be normalised.” Corrina Wright sits on the board of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia. So does Mr De Bortoli. An emergency meeting of the board followed the post in which an eight member

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