Despite the challenges it has faced over the last decade in the form of fires and drought, the Australian Wine Industry is currently valued at $6.9 billion and still growing strong, according to the 2019 Wine Market Research Report by IBISWorld. The wine production industry is benefiting from the rising global demand for Australian wines and improved prices over the last five years. From the increased focus on sustainability to the rising popularity of wine tourism, these are some of the trends that are expected to shape the Australian wine industry as we kick off the decade.
Sustainability in wine production
Sustainability is a hot topic in Australia, being one of the countries that will be affected the most by climate change. Wineries across the country are starting to implement measures aimed at reducing their carbon footprints and minimising waste. For example, to save water, many wineries have switched to digitally managed drip irrigation that allows rationalised irrigation based on weather forecasts. Some wineries have also stopped using herbicides, insecticides and other synthetic materials that could introduce harmful compounds into the environment. However, scrutiny will become paramount as consumers investigate various sustainability claims made by wine brands in their marketing campaigns. It’s not enough for wine producers to say they are executing sustainable practices; they’ll have to prove it too.
Online wine shopping
Ecommerce in Australia is growing at a rapid rate, with more than 73 percent of Australian households shopping online annually, according to the 2019 eCommerce Industry Report by Australia Post. People are buying all kinds of products and services online, including clothing, electronics, and now wine. Wine shopping is now easier than ever; you can buy white wine online from Qantas and have it delivered to your location in no time. Consumers are embracing online wine shopping as it allows them to easily purchase different types of wine from different locations and at different price points without ever leaving their homes.
Veganism is growing rapidly in Australia, with 12.1 percent of the population saying that they are vegetarians in a Roy Morgan poll. Many winemakers have noticed this trend and started making vegan wines to cater to the growing demand. Traditionally, the winemaking process uses non-vegan fining agents like casein and albumin to remove tiny particles that could cloud or discolour the wine. Many winemakers are starting to use vegan-friendly fining agents, while some are choosing not to filter the wines. As a result, there’s a growing selection of vegan-friendly wines on shelves across the country.
Wine tourism growing
More than ever, people visiting Australia are incorporating wine experiences into their holidays. While some do it to enjoy the amazing beauty of vineyards, most do it to experience the wine tastings and classes offered in most vineyards. There’s nothing quite like having a glass of wine at the vineyard where it was made. Looking at the grapes that produce the wine you love can also be an inspiring experience for both wine enthusiasts and casual drinkers.
As 2020 drives forward, the Australian wine industry will keep evolving, driven by these and other emerging trends. Whether you are a consumer, seller, manufacturer or any other stakeholder in the Australian wine industry, you need to keep track of these trends so that you make better wine-related decisions.