Wine Connect – Australia’s international trade show ready to launch

April 8, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Over 230 Australian exhibitors have registered to participate in Wine Australia’s virtual platform, Wine Connect when it launches on 27 April.

Renowned Australian wine and drinks writer, Mike Bennie, will officiate the launch, leading a series of conversations with some of Australia’s cutting-edge winemakers and preview the platform’s features and how this promotional tool will work for international trade and Australian winemakers and exporters.

Wine Connect is intended to support wine exports at a time of reduced travel and cancelled trade exhibitions as well as to grow the variety and selection of Australian markets.

Access to the platform is free of charge and open to wine buyers from around the world for the next year, offering business-to-business matching services for retailers, importers and on-trade in Asia, USA, Canada, and the UK, among others.

There will be several programs facilitating new to market opportunities for Australian wineries in the USA, Canada, the UK and Asian markets and powerful search tools to enable global trade to browse Australian wines and wineries by region, style or variety.

Glasses of red wine being held in cheers

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said, “Wine Australia has been working hard to develop a valuable opportunity for Australian wineries to continue marketing and selling their wines overseas this year. 

“Australian Wine Connect has been designed to generate powerful commercial outcomes for the global wine community. This dynamic approach will no doubt foster hundreds of lasting relationships between Australian wine producers and international wine trade, and we are very excited to help facilitate these conversations,” he said. 

Wine Connect Campaign

To drive traffic to the platform for its 27 April launch, Wine Australia has run a global marketing campaign across paid and earned media. They are also ramping up activity via their global database and own channels to attract international media and trade to the platform. Wine Australia’s in-house team members in Australia, UK, USA and Canada, will continue to work with trade to maintain interest and engagement with the site over the twelve months. In particular, a program of virtual events and tastings is expected to keep the site buoyant.

Wine Australia is also working closely with federal and state agencies in the Asia Pacific and Europe, such as Austrade and Food and Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), to facilitate business opportunities for Australian wineries throughout the campaign.

Wine Australia Features & Virtual Events

Wine Connect features sections for trade to discover, explore and learn about Australia’s wine industry and the Conversations section will keep the site fresh and dynamic with its series of live gatherings, including quarterly keynotes panel discussions on the future of drinking by global thought-leaders, a monthly deep-dive into key varieties and virtual tastings targeted to individual markets around the globe. 

Adelaide Hills wine

On the first Tuesday of every month, live events will dive deep into Australia’s climate, landscape and regional wines through the lens of a specific variety. Wine Australia’s, Mark Davidson will host intimate and informative chats with the winemakers and viticulturalists who are challenging convention and blazing new trails in the search for quality, individuality and diversity. This variety focus will also be supported by localised virtual tastings in multiple cities around the globe.

The first Connect Conversations event is on Wednesday, 12 May focussing on Cabernet Sauvignon, including aGlobal Comparative Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting tasting and panel discussions exploring the rich heritage of this variety through discussions with expert panellists.

Virtual Tastings

This ambitious project entails quite a challenge when it comes to tastings. Wine Australia said: “Different markets present different challenges and we are running a number of virtual tastings where we arrange for wines to be delivered to attendees.

“The tastings will be facilitated by our in-house global educational team, together with a mix of industry leaders and key influencers and regional partners throughout the next 12 months.”

Drinks Trade will continue to keep you posted.

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