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ProWein 2015: Australia needs to promote its stories and personalities says Laura Jewell

Published:  18 March, 2015

Australia needs to continue to concentrate on promoting the stories behind its wines and the personalities of the winemakers who make them if it is to make the most of its diverse range of wines, according to Laura Jewell MW who has just taken on her role as head of Wine Australia in the UK and Europe.

The breadth of Australia's wine industry was there to be seen at this week's ProWein with 39 producers on the main Wine Australia stand and a further 17 wineries represented on their own separate branded or distributor stands close by.

Australia's delegation at ProWein was a reflection of how important the country and its producers now regard the Dusseldorf event with 14 more producers taking part on its generic stand in 2015 compared to the year before. It even had a waiting list for producers unable to exhibit this year. Jewell said it will be looking to take out more space for the 2016 show.

She told that it was an ideal time for her to take on the role as she has had the opportunity to meet and talk to so many Australian producers not only at ProWein but at the recent Vancouver International Wine Festival.

"This is a really exciting time to be joining Wine Australia," she said.

As someone who has bought Australian wine throughout her career be it for Tesco, Spar and during her time at HwCg she was very familiar with what the country can offer.

She is particularly excited that Australia has the wines to be able to service all price points from the entry level right through to super premium, but it is the middle market where Australia really has the opportunity to shine compared to many of its New World competitors.

With so many stories to tell about Australian wine part of her role will be to ensure there is a steady stream of Australian winemakers coming to the UK and Europe to keep the category alive and exciting in the market place.

She would love to go back to the days of the "Australian invasion" in the 1980s and 1990s when so many Australian winemakers made their name in the UK.

She said discussions were taking place to see if its major events and its annual tasting were held at a time of the year when as many Australian winemakers can come to the UK.

The central messages for Australian wine, stressed Jewell, were to promote the history of its wines and the revolution and evolution that is, and has, taken place within its winemaking and winemakers.

A revolution and evolution that is seeing varieties like Riesling producing award winning wines in Australia and the wider use of wild ferments and bunch pressing in wineries. The importance of Australia's regionality and the different styles of wine that can be made in the country goes along with that, she added.

"There are simply hundreds of stories to tell," said Jewell.