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Published:  23 July, 2008

Small regional winemakers are essential to the success of the Australian wine industry, according to David Woods, MD and CEO of the Hardy Wine Company. In his address to the recent Australian Liberal Party convention in Adelaide, Woods said: These smaller producers add a vital element to the marketing mix, as they provide the romance and intrigue for a particular wine region that lingers with the consumer.' Research conducted by the Winemakers' Federation of Australia shows that a number of smaller, regional winemakers were coming under significant margin pressures and viability threats'. Federation chief executive Ian Sutton said that while the exporting sector continued to drive growth, approximately 1,600 wineries would never be able to commit to exporting, and their viability and the implications for their regional economies was a cause for major concern. * Robert Hill Smith, proprietor of Yalumba, Australia's oldest family-owned winery, has announced the appointment of Martin Strachan (who has run Negociants Australia from Adelaide over the last five years) as UK managing director of Negociants UK. Strachan replaces Michael Cox, now at Wines of Chile.