Wine lovers are being asked to buy local wines this summer and celebrate their purchases on social media using the #chooseaustralianwine hashtag.
Australian grape growers and winemakers have been dealt a trio of blows during 2020 in the form of fires and smoke, COVID-19 shutdowns, and most recently, trade tensions leading to the $1.2 billion China export market for Australian becoming effectively unviable.
Australian Wine & Grape wants to tap into Australians’ inherent belief in supporting each other when things get tough.
“I’ve had dozens of emails and calls from people across Australia who want to support Australian grape growers and winemakers after what they’ve been through in 2020” said Tony Battaglene, Chief Executive of Australian Grape & Wine.
“If you enjoy a glass of wine, choose something from your favourite Australian producer this year. Better yet, wrap up a case and put it under the Christmas tree for your family and friends.
“We currently import around 125 million bottles of wine each year from overseas. If Australian wine lovers decide to buy Australian instead, it will go a long way to cushioning the blow grape and wine businesses have been dealt in 2020”.
The organisation is urging people to support Australian grape growers, winemakers and rural and regional communities across the country.
If you enjoy a special bottle of Australian wine over summer, show your support by posting a photo of what’s in your glass on social media – make sure to use the #chooseaustralianwine hashtag.
“This isn’t about drinking more wine,” Battaglene said. “We want everyone who chooses to enjoy a glass of Australian wine to do so in moderation, with food, family and friends. And if you do, make sure you raise a glass to the grape growers and winemakers who battle the elements to produce these beautiful products every year.
“It doesn’t matter if you choose to buy a glass, a bottle or a case. The choice to buy Australian this summer will flow directly back to Australia’s rural and regional economies and provide a much-needed boost for growers and winemakers.”
Further blow to Aussie winemakers
China has imposed a preliminary determination in the anti-dumping investigation that involves an import duty on all Australian produced bottled wine ranging from 107% to over 212%. The duties will be in place for at least four months and possibly as long as 12 months.
It also announced today that it will temporarily impose anti-subsidy fees on some Australian wine imports from Friday.
Australian Grape & Wine said it is deeply disappointed by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s (MOFCOM) decision today to implement preliminary countervailing duties of 6.3-6.4% on Australian bottled wine imports.
“The allegation that Australian grape growers and winemakers receive trade distorting subsidies demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of our sector” said Battaglene. “The OECD ranks Australia as the second least subsidised agriculture sector in the world”.
“Australian grape growers and winemakers have been competitive in China because of their efficiency and the quality of the product. We don’t understand how Australia is being accused of benefitting from subsidies, while other wine producing nations enjoy significant government subsidies and continue to export to China.”
Western Australia’s Rosenthal Wines owner Coby Ladwig told news.com.au he has lost $570,000 in sales over the past year due to Chinese tariff hikes and a staggering $240,000 “overnight” due to cancelled orders for Chinese New Year.
“Everyone’s in the dark and we don’t know how long this will go on for – it’s scary times,” he said.
Pictured main: Jen Pfeiffer ‘RockItLikeARedhead’ at Pfeiffer Wines in Wahgunyah, Victoria. ‘RockItLikeARedhead’ wines are sold exclusively through Naked Wines.