(Australian Associated Press)
Australian sparkling wine makers are taking some of the fizz out of their French competitors amid a surge in demand for Aussie bubbly.
The value of Australian-made carbonated wine exports, which includes varieties such as moscato, more than doubled to $30 million in the past year, new figures from Wine Australia show.
Wine lovers in the United States, China and Japan drove the demand, with those countries accounting for the bulk of Aussie carbonated wine exports during the 2016/17 financial year.
Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark described the increased demand for Aussie bubbly as “an interesting development” and one that helped underpin a 10 per cent leap in overall wine exports for the year.
The total value of Australian wine exports increased by $201 million to $2.3 billion, mainly thanks to increased demand from the US and China.
While carbonated wine performed above expectations, the strongest growth was in premium wines.
“Pleasingly, nearly all price points experienced growth and there were benefits for exporters in all segments of the market,” Mr Clark said in a statement on Wednesday.
The value of exports to Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East all hit record highs during the year.
Mainland China consolidated its position as the number one destination for Aussie wines in terms of value, with exports soaring 44 per cent to $607 million thanks to a surge in sales for bulk and bottled wine following the introduction of the 2015 free trade agreement between both countries.
North America followed close behind, with exports rising one per cent to $651 million.
Exports to the US alone reached their highest value in five years – $464 million – thanks to a 10-fold increase in carbonated wine sales, a three per cent lift for white wines and ongoing strong demand for pinot grigio.
Elsewhere, while the value of Aussie wine exports to the United Kingdom fell seven per cent, Australia still ships more wine there in terms of volume than anywhere else.
AUSTRALIA’S TOP FIVE WINE EXPORT MARKETS
* Mainland China, up 44pct to $607m
* US, up 3pct to $464m
* UK, down 7pct to $341m
* Canada, down 5pct to $186m
* Hong Kong, down 8pct to $114m
(Source: Wine Australia)