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Australian Vintage boss predicts strong 2014

Published:  15 January, 2014

Australian Vintage's UK boss predicts further success for Australian wines at higher price points and is optimistic for the category for the year ahead.

Speaking to, Julian Dyer, general manager for the UK and Europe, said Australian wine is still an important category here, which has "certainly held its own". AVL's average bottle price in the off-trade is £5.50.

"Given the strength and depth of our brands, and the regionality of our winemaking, I see no reason why we shouldn't have another strong year," he said.

Dyer said that Australian wine has a lot to offer, above and beyond the commoditised wine. "There's an increased refocus  - Australia has not gone away. We're producing consumer-friendly styles but adding diversity around style and premiumisation.

"It would be nice if the foreign exchange rate continued to work in our favour - it's a start but still low when you look at the Australian dollar's longterm history.

"People are talking about Australian wine again. We've got to be confident. We have the right brands and innovation streams."

Australian Vintage last year worked with TV chef John Torode, and will continue that partnership for 2014.

Dyer said the firm had success in "premiumisation" when it comes to moving consumers up incrementally by 50p or £1. "We've had some pretty good results on McGuigan Black Label Reserve ranges. They command a higher than average price point and consumers are experimenting with more elegant complex styles at mainstream level and upwards."

As for its Moscato-based sparkling wine drink Vinni, which fits in the lower alcohol category, and was launched in October 2012, Dyer said now was the time to build distribution and has big plans for the brand. "I'd like it to be in every shop in the land", he said Dye". He's also keen to "crack the on-trade" with the brand, and is looking at introducing different pack sizes to do so. It's currently available only in 568ml serves. "It's made a solid start, as more people are coming into the category it will become more defined."

Australian Vintage sells McGuigan, Tempus Two and the Nepenthe brands in the UK.