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Published:  23 July, 2008

The US has overtaken the UK to become the biggest contributor to volume growth of Australian wine exports for the first time, according to figures from the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation for the year-end to September 2002. Although the UK is still the biggest market for Australian wine, with 206 million litres sold this year, the US has now broken the 100 million litres barrier and recorded a 33 million litre increase (45.4% growth) over the previous year. This beats the UK increase of 31 million litres (17.9% growth) and marks the first time in recent years that the UK wasn't the major volume driver. Lawrie Stanford, information and analysis manager for the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, said: With an abundance of Australian red wine available for sale, the US represents a more likely short-term growth market compared to the UK, based on the acceptance of Australian red in the US compared to the UK - two thirds of the wine shipped to the US is red wine, whilst half of the UK shipments are red.' These figures make especially good reading for the Australians, considering that the average MAT A$ per litre price in the US was $6.13, compared with $4.17 in the UK. With 49 million litres sold, September 2002 was the biggest month on record, surpassing the previous best (September 2001) by 6%.

Mondavi and Rosemount The Robert Mondavi and Rosemount Estate partnership has appointed Ian Shepherd as winemaker for the two companies' joint winemaking venture. Shepherd will oversee all winemaking and viticulture for the new collaboration, which encompasses making super-premium and prestige wines in both California and Australia, with a focus on wines produced from Syrah/Shiraz grapes grown in the two countries' cooler-climate regions - Australia's Victoria and California's Santa Barbara County.