Monday, June 13, 2011

Ozzie Vintners Lift The Drawbridge

New Zealand's top drops have been excluded from three of Australia's most prestigious award shows: the Royal Hobart Intl.Wine Show in Tasmania, the Canberra Wine Show and the Perth Royal Wine Show! Just one major competition, the Sydney Intl.Wine Competition, has not banned NZ wines…so far.
The rationale is that Australia no longer needs to “help” NZ wines gain a foothold in the Oz market! I’m sorry???!!! Forgive me, cobbers – I was under the impression that kiwi wines cracked your market dominance because of their quality, not because you gave them “a leg-up”! For example, in the last two years in Hobart, NZ wines have scored 23 gold awards, 17 silver and 47 bronze.
Thanks for the help...yea, right.
Imported wines hold 15% of the Oz domestic market, the majority from Nu Zild. This is making Oz winemakers edgy, given how our sauvignon blancs, pinot noirs and more recently syrahs consistently score their top awards. And let’s not forget a Martinborough pinot noir was voted in April best in the world!
But the Oz wine industry is feeling under siege with its wines less in favour internationally, the high Australian dollar making it harder to sell and the country being hammered by natural disasters. So it's turning xenophobic. Tasmania has hinted NZ wines may be allowed back…if its wines can enter NZ wine shows.
But NZ Intl.Wine Show organiser Kingsley Wood says:
+ he’s not received any correspondence from the Royal Hobart Wine Show, or in fact any other Australian Wine Show.
+ on several occasions Oz winemakers have been invited but could not attend.
+ Tassie wines are regularly entered into the NZ Intl.Wine Show.
Well, whatever the real reasons for this exclusion, I guess it’s a sort of back-handed compliment, though most certainly unintended!

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