More than a thousand New York wine lovers gathered at the Union West in Chelsea from 17–19 September for the launch of Wine Australia’s ‘Far From Ordinary’ campaign – a six-week promotion aimed at reinvigorating Australian wine sales in the crucial USA market.
Over three nights, the Australian wine sector brought its dynamic wine scene to life with targeted events of a scale and size never seen before. These included:
- the Australian Women in Wine Awards, organised by Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society in partnership with Wine Australia, attracting more than 120 guests
- 3 consumer events attracting 400–500 guests each night
- the first-ever New to Market Showcase in New York, connecting a select group of American importers and distributors with 18 Australian wineries looking to gain a presence in the market, and
- a trade tasting attracting more than 300 American wine importers, distributors, wholesalers, sommeliers, buyers and media.
The New York City events kick-started the largest-ever promotion of Australian wine in the USA.
Supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, the $8 million campaign features more than 100 Australian wine exhibitors, consumer events, retail and wholesaler activations, and a 6-city roadshow of trade tastings and seminars visiting New York (17–19 September), Chicago (23 September), Miami (25 September), Dallas (27 September), Los Angeles (1 October) and San Francisco (3 October).
Australian Consul General to New York Alastair Walton, who attended the Australian Women in Wine Awards, the consumer event and the trade tasting, said, ‘The Far From Ordinary campaign created by Wine Australia to showcase a large and diverse range of winemakers is one of the best commercial engagements I have ever seen in New York or elsewhere. It is truly of a global standard in its conception and execution.
‘At the trade segment of this three-day event, I witnessed first-hand hundreds of potential commercial wine buyers engage with our Australian winemakers. This is a very welcome initiative from the wine sector.
‘The sheer scale and impact of this campaign could never be achieved by even our most internationally prominent winemakers and this collective approach is exactly what is needed in this highly competitive but huge marketplace’, he said.
The 3 nights of consumer events treated guests to 34 exciting Australian wines in a setting brought to life with Australian scenery, birdsong, scents and music, capturing the natural environments that influence Australian winemaking.
Speaking about the trade tasting in New York, Australian exhibitor Victoria Angove, Joint Managing Director at Angove Family Winemakers said, ‘we saw an outstanding turnout of New York wine specialists who have loved the opportunity to taste the extraordinary depth and breadth of Australian wine.’
Alexandra Burt, Proprietor of Voyager Estate said, ‘I think that the quality of trade that came to the New York tasting demonstrates a genuine interest in the true wine stories from Australia. We’re all feeling a new momentum here in the market.’
Exhibiting winemaker Mac Forbes of Mac Forbes Winery said, ‘it’s amazing to see such energy in the room for Australian wine. The different levels of engagement, the different conversations and the higher levels of understanding were evident across all events and will definitely contribute to the increasing presence of and excitement for Australian wine in New York.’
De Bortoli General Manager, North America, Craig Orchard said, ‘the Wine Australia team has done an amazing job to bring an event space alive with the sounds and feel of Australia in the heart of New York City.
‘Walking around and hearing the appreciation of Australian wines and the experience of the consumers was really uplifting and offers the wine sector great opportunities going forward’, he said.