Wine Australia, export, China and Andreas Clark

Wine Australia has released export figures to end of March. There’s plenty of good news and an excellent summary to boot. This week I look at China and the UK. Further analysis will follow in coming weeks. We also have an interview with Andreas Clark CEO Wine Australia

Richard Warland has stated his views on the Curtin Economics Centre report, WA Wine Exports: Building an economic future with China. He and I agree that West Australian wineries are in no worse a position than any other Australian winery. Read Richard Warland’s comment here and add another.

Ian Powrie’s second paper on tax is now available. Ian writes:

“The logical starting place for any review of the strategic implications of the tax and rebate system for wine is to understand what has occurred under the status quo. There exists widespread deviations from the original intent of the legislation as a cellar door/tourism measure for small and medium enterprises as can be judged through their origination as a combined state and national scheme. 

“Statistics indicate that cellar door outlets have declined to around 67 per cent from their peak. This raises the question as to how the rebate has been applied: the opposite ends of the spectrum of possibilities are that it was indeed applied to developing the business wine/tourism aspects of the business, or, it dropped to the bottom line of profits before tax and renders value as a shield against any increase of tax liability.”

The budget is due in May. Will wine tax be changed, for better or worse? Strategic-thinking-Wine-Equalisation-Tax-Rebate.

Then again, with North Korea appearing to prepare for another nuclear test, tax may be the least of our worries.

Aldi has opened the first of its expected 20 stores this year in Western Australia. A further 60 stores are anticipated in coming years. No doubt this will cause some angst among rivals Coles and Woolworths, and generate plenty of media attention. Reports indicate Aldi has topped 12 per cent share of the grocery trade in Australia and continues to grow. Sales are estimated to pass $15 billion by 2020. What this means for consumers is continuing low prices as the war continues and intensifies.

UK supermarket Tesco made a pre-tax profit of £162 million ($299 million) in the year to February 27 on a turnover of £48.4 billion. It’s the first small step on the road of recovery.

Different markets require different approaches. It’s no good being a purist if money is the objective. LVMH recently opened a Chandon winery in India. At the inauguration the company offered eight variations of spritzers with its sparkling wines as the base. A couple of recipes:

  • Chandon Elderflower Spritz: Chandon Brut 150ml, elderflower cordial 15ml, three orange slices, three cucumber slices and three to four ice cubes.
  • The Classic Spritz: 150ml sparkling wine, 15ml Campari, a dash of soda and three to four ice cubes, garnished with two half-slices of orange.

More recipes can be found on the Chandon website.

I have a love-hate relationship with Dan Murphy’s. I love going in and looking at the range, especially imported. I hate it because I always spend far more than I intended. Having worked for Oddbins in the 1970 and ’80s I do find the Dan’s stores somewhat sterile, not like the clutter of Oddbins where the staff wrote the notes for the wines. Often funny, the witty shelf talkers amused customers and generated sales.

There’s a good article on shelf talkers by Lettie Teague in The Wall Street Journal. Read Lettie Teague’s full article here.

If by chance any of you have invoices from TKR gathering dust, gather good karma this week by paying them.



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