WINE: New World Wineries Create Alliance
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In a significant expression of unity, five competing New World wine-producing countries will be collaborating to present a combined show at one of the most important international wine trade events next year. Argentina, California, Chile, New Zealand and South Africa are all members of the recently formed New World Wine Alliance who will be joining forces to showcase their wines at Germany’s annual ProWein in March next year.
The alliance marks a world first in the wine industry for competitor countries to operate as a team in this way.
All five regions have continued to grow exports despite the global credit crisis and believe that by working in concert they stand a better chance of competing against the EU, whose own wine-producing members are supported by substantial subsidies in their international marketing initiatives.
Australia, which is reportedly now focusing more on the East, has not joined the alliance.
The five generic marketing bodies representing the five New World Alliance partners are optimistic about the initiative and believe their combined efforts in promoting the New World as a premium source of wines and as a network of innovation, will generate worldwide interest amongst media and trade at ProWein.
All five countries have succeeded in building their wine trades on the back of aggressive branding; by demystifying wine and thus attracting new consumers; by playing up their regional strengths and unique features and by focusing on technical, packaging and marketing innovation, while giving increasing accent to sustainable wine-growing and wine production.
According to a spokesman for the Alliance, there had been exploratory talks amongst New World producers for several years about establishing a stand-alone show targeted at the international wine trade. However, recent research had suggested that with so many shows already in place, the alliance would be better served by creating a show within a show, using the well-established platform of ProWein.
Held annually in Dusseldorf, ProWein hosted some 3 200 exhibitors in 2009 and also succeeded in attracting over 35 000 delegates from 50 countries, plus more than 1 000 journalists.
At ProWein in March 2010, the five alliance partners will be grouped together in a single hall. They intend to jointly offer a series of seminars, lectures, presentations and workshops featuring high-level wine trade and academic specialists as well as prominent growers and wine makers under the umbrella theme, Down to Earth. Issues they plan to cover include sustainable wine production, the management of scarce natural resources and managing climate change, cool-climate viticulture, organic wines, branding, icon wines, building on-trade consumption sales and the importance of unique grape varietals.
The spokesman added: “Although we remain competitors, we believe the potential exists to further advance the New World’s share of the global wine market by sharing best practice. We have already benefitted from each other enormously by exchanging viticultural and cellar research as well as innovations in packaging, marketing and logistics.”
Exports from this group continue to prosper despite the economic slowdown in the global wine market. Export data for 2008 shows:
Last year, Argentina exported 23,8 million 9-litre cases worth US$550m, representing an increase of 14% in volume and 28% in value on 2007. California exported 55 million cases worth over US$1billion, an increase of 8% in volume and 6% in value, and Chile exported 65,4 million cases worth US$1,4billion, an increase of 10% in value but a 3% decrease in volume. New Zealand exports rose 19% to 10,9 million cases, at a value of US$574m, representing an increase of 19%. South Africa’s exports rose 32% in volume to 45,2 million cases, worth US$778m, up 47% in value.
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