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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Christian Davis

Brian Croser believes that Australian producers need to tackle the on-trade if they want to be taken seriously in the premium wine market. Croser, a seminal figure in the development of Australian cool-climate white wines, told Harpers: When you consider Australia's dominance of off-trade shelves, it is quite astonishing that it either does not appear - or has a low presence - on most restaurant wine lists. The world wine industry for premium wines is led by the on-trade,' he said. We need to put some real energy into educating the UK wine trade about the regional differences of Australian wines and promoting them.' Croser, now employed as a strategic consultant by Lion Nathan, said the changes taking place in the Australian wine industry mean a separate strategy for the on-trade is now even more important. Lion Nathan has revised its strategy, aided and abetted by me,' he claimed. It now has a strategy relating to fine wine distributors which is on-trade focused. Our key performance indicator is getting onto quality wine lists in the great cities of the world. But a wine list in London is chalk and cheese to one in Paris, Rome or New York. To achieve success, we must have the right assets in the right place for each of these markets. With more homogenisation in the Australian wine industry we have to become more eclectic and ecumenical.' Croser visited Harpers after a whistle-stop tour of Europe following Vinexpo, where he felt New World producers were shafted'. According to Croser, the Australian ambassador to France has accused the Vinexpo organisers of prejudicing Australian interests.