bev­er­age

The root of Aus­tralian wines’ suc­cess? The old­est soils on the planet

F&B World - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - Text by JANICA BALASOLLA Photo by PA­TRICK SEGOVIA

Vine­yards dat­ing back to the 1800s drive the suc­cess of th­ese wines

While Filipinos are tra­di­tion­ally known to be beer drinkers, their in­ter­est in and de­mand for wine has in­creased in the last five years. As younger mil­len­ni­als be­come more open to try­ing new al­co­holic bev­er­ages, Filipinos con­tinue to see wine as a highly as­pi­ra­tional prod­uct.

In the Philip­pines, the United States sup­plies a third of the prod­ucts in the mar­ket while Spain and Aus­tralia im­port 20 per­cent and 16 per­cent, re­spec­tively, with reds more fa­vored over whites be­cause of their health ben­e­fits. French wines are much more re­garded than other wines be­cause of the va­ri­ety and spe­cialty of se­lect re­gions in the coun­try. How­ever, the French wine in­dus­try has been fac­ing stiff com­pe­ti­tion from the in­creas­ing suc­cess of New World wine coun­tries like Aus­tralia. Un­be­known to many, Aus­tralian wine is now a ma­jor player in the in­dus­try along with the more es­tab­lished and Old World wine coun­tries like France, Italy, and Spain. It has about 2,000 winer­ies, and a num­ber of them brought the world’s at­ten­tion to Aus­tralian wines for their fresh and fruity fla­vor that is ex­tremely con­sis­tent in qual­ity. At the pres­ti­gious In­ter­na­tional Wine Chal­lenge this year, Aus­tralian win­ery Wolf Blass Wines won Red Wine­maker of the year, sur­pass­ing 15,000 wine en­tries from 70 coun­tries all over the globe. Chief wine­maker for Wolf Blass Chris Hatcher ex­plains that as one of the old­est ge­o­log­i­cal coun­tries in the world, Aus­tralia is home to the old­est vines in the globe. “In Europe in the late 1800s, a dis­ease wiped out Europe’s vines. So the old­est vine­yards in Europe are re­ally from the end of the 1800s. In Aus­tralia we have vines dat­ing back to the 1800s.” In ad­di­tion, Aus­tralia’s true Mediter­ranean cli­mate makes leaner soils ideal for grow­ing good grapes.

Wine has been a part of Aus­tralian cul­ture ever since the craze started in the 1970s. Now, Asia has picked it up, par­tic­u­larly China, where there is strong de­mand, thanks to in­depth stud­ies. “The in­ter­est­ing thing with the newer coun­tries [the Philip­pines in­cluded] con­sum­ing wine is that peo­ple are start­ing to ap­pre­ci­ate and see wine as some­thing that they like to learn a bit more about,” says Hatcher. The younger gen­er­a­tion and ba­si­cally any­one who’s new to wine prefers soft and sweet­tast­ing wines; more fruit-driven like Chi­nese wines, but some lean to­wards the dry and firm­tast­ing wines of Europe. Ei­ther way, Aus­tralian wine of­fers both which paved the way for the coun­try to en­ter the global wine mar­ket. The wide range of wines saves the ef­fort in keep­ing up with wine trends, but winer­ies con­tin­u­ously chase ad­vanced wine­mak­ing tech­niques and bet­ter up­keep meth­ods for their vine­yards to en­sure the high­est qual­ity in their wines. “Peo­ple are un­afraid to try an­other wine af­ter the other be­cause they know that the qual­ity is still there. There’s the con­sis­tency across the globe, and that’s re­ally the suc­cess of Aus­tralian wine in gen­eral.”

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