The recent launch of apluswines.com is a very welcome addition to Wine Australia’s armoury, providing a much more approachable, consumer-friendly website, supported by a social media presence through Twitter and Facebook. I’ve already had a good look at the site and I’ll certainly be encouraging our wineries to submit a profile if they have not done so already. I noticed Bleasdale, Heartland, Langmeil (nice video, guys) and Glaetzer have already created profiles with contact details and links to their own sites.
To briefly explain, Wine Australia is the overseas promotional arm of the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. Its role is the generic marketing of Australian wines on behalf of its member wineries. It is funded entirely by the Australian wine industry and select corporate sponsorship under the Australian Wine Export Partnership.
It’s a useful thing to have links to so many wineries in one place, but in addition the site acts as a learning centre, starting with the basics of wine making. Grape to Glass is an easy read bringing you through the wine making process and finishing with a case study from Stonier wines in Victoria. The Wine Guide is a useful introduction to the different types of wine and then the Wine Regions section introduces the reader to the regions and the importance regionality, an angle the industry focuses on a lot these days.
As mentioned before, the wine industry in the Old World can learn much from Wine Australia. New Zealand has done a great job making their offering accessible, and within the US, the Americans market themselves brilliantly, but there hasn’t been the same effort made by the French and Italians. A number of our producers don’t even have a dedicated website, and those that do could do with major improvement to their image, navigation and content. It’s all about creating awareness and educating the consumer, and Wine Australia seem to be the benchmark.