SA toasts first-year success in global wine club

13 Sep 2023
Dozens of new South Australian wine brands are on international shelves and more than a million dollars’ worth of opening orders have been placed in the first year of a South Australian Government program to open global trade markets for local producers. 

The South Australian Wine Ambassadors Club (SAWAC) has helped 45 South Australian wines break into key Asia-Pacific markets, generating $1.2 million in sales since the initiative was established 12 months ago.

Following early success, the program will expand from 27 wine importers in five countries to 41 importers in seven countries in its second year. 

The two new markets – Vietnam and India – will join chapters already set up in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand. 

SAWAC provides a central platform for SA companies to connect with global wine importers and retailers, driving new deals and export growth back home. 

Importers signed up to the program are committed to adding new SA wines to their portfolios and act as global ambassadors for the State’s wine sector. 

Vietnam is emerging as a key export destination amid strong growth in wine sales, with around two thirds of Australian wine shipped to Vietnam coming from South Australia and SA exports growing by 6.5 per cent in the year ending June 2023.

McLaren Vale-based Dandelion Vineyards, a SAWAC participant, will seek to enter this market after securing sales with a wine importer in Singapore through the program. Plans to crack the Hong Kong market in the next year are also underway. 

India is another emerging market – wine consumption is set to reach 55.5 million litres by 2025, up from 29.2 million litres in 2020, fuelled by a rising middle class. A free trade agreement with heavily reduced tariffs on premium wine now in effect is expected to further support South Australian producers.

Led by Patrons and renowned wine authorities, James Halliday AM and Tony Love, SAWAC was launched as part of the Government’s Wine Export Recovery and Expansion Program and to help expand the local industry’s global footprint. 

South Australian wine exports totalled $1.3 billion in the year ending June 2023 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, making up 64 per cent of the total value of Australian wine exports.