Bargain basement

This requires a much longer article. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult time at TKR international headquarters.

TKR found it disturbing that Australian chardonnay is down in the bargain sector for bulk white wine imports into the US. Note: prices on the chart are US dollars.

In the year ending 30 June 2017 chardonnay was the No.1 Australian white variety exported to the US, increasing 4 per cent to $67 million.

Out of a total $464 million worth of wine (bottled and bulk), exported to the US, $67 million worth was chardonnay. Looking at the bulk shipments and rounding out, $84 million went stateside, with $40 million in the 0.50 to $1 a litre bracket, and $35 million in the $1 to $1.50 bracket

As the chart shows, Australian chardonnay is well below US$1 a litre, while French chardonnay is US$1 and above. Is French chardonnay that much better than Australian? If it is, why are we still sending crap chardonnay to a market in which we are trying to regain status?

Wine Australia makes much of the retail growth of higher-priced wines in the US. Well done, have a round of applause. But it’s this example of chardonnay that is showing where Australia is stuck in the trade/consumer mind. And there’s not a great deal of cheer there.

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