Trendy tip­ples take off

Tasmanian Country - - CROSSWORD -

AUS­TRALIANS are more likely to drink wine if they are fe­male and aged over 65, but this is not the de­mo­graphic co­hort be­ing tar­geted by the na­tion’s wine­mak­ers.

Do­mes­tic wine sales are climb­ing in value and this is largely be­ing driven by mil­len­ni­als, roughly de­fined as those born be­tween the 1980s and early 2000s, who are buy­ing wines priced at more than $15 a bot­tle, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by ANZ bank.

The lat­est data shows do­mes­tic sales climbed 6 per cent to $3.3 bil­lion in 2016-2017, with white wine the drop of choice.

“We are see­ing con­sumers move more to­wards pre­mium and be­spoke prod­ucts and much of the growth is fu­elled by smaller brands, with con­sumers look­ing for a story, au­then­tic­ity and some­thing dif­fer­ent,” Wine­mak­ers Fed­er­a­tion of Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Batta­g­lene said.

“This is not a new trend but one that has been com­ing for some time. It is also par­al­leled by more mod­er­ate con­sump­tion pat­terns where young con­sumers are drink­ing less and trad­ing up,” he said.

Mr Batta­g­lene said mil­len­ni­als were driv­ing change not just in wine but across al­co­holic bev­er­ages, lead­ing to an ex­plo­sion in craft beer, “nat­u­ral” wines and aged brown spir­its.

Mar­ket re­search firm Euromon­i­tor In­ter­na­tional says driv­ing con­sumer choices in 2018 is a thirst for prove­nance, crafts­man­ship and well­ness.

While this trend has re­sulted in lower sales of al­co­hol, it has also steered con­sumers to­wards prod­ucts with a story – and of­ten a higher price.

ANZ agribusi­ness head Mark Ben­nett said while the Aus­tralian do­mes­tic mar­ket ac­counted for only 39 per cent of to­tal wine grape sales by vol­ume, it con­trib­uted 59 per cent of the in­dus­try’s to­tal rev­enue with wine­mak­ers with a crush of less than 500 tonnes play­ing a big role.

“While ma­jor wine­mak­ers re­ceive a great deal of at­ten­tion, Aus­tralia’s smaller wine­mak­ers con­tinue to be a vi­tal part of the sec­tor, and form a ma­jor part of the pre­mi­u­mi­sa­tion trend,” Mr Ben­nett said in his re­port.

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