Australian Wine Category Premiumizes As Overall Volume DeclinesMarch 17, 2022
Australian table wine export shipments to the U.S. were down 8% to 8.1 million 9-liter cases last year, excluding bulk. Back in 2009, Australia briefly led all import origins in U.S. wine volume, ahead of the current leader Italy, according to Impact Databank. Australia has since fallen behind France as well, but strong growth continues to be registered in the above-$10 per liter segment.
U.S. imports of Australian wine above $10 a liter increased by 20% to $48 million in 2021—the highest value since 2009—according to Wine Australia. Particularly encouraging performances were turned in last year by wines from McLaren Vale (+51% by value), Barossa (+47%), and Tasmania (+141%), while specific varieties above $10 a liter which posted impressive growth in 2021 include Sauvignon Blanc (+152%), Chardonnay (+5%), and Grenache (+42%).
Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes brand continues to achieve consistent progress in the premium-plus Australian sector, with 10% growth last year to 2.4 million 9-liter cases in the U.S.—according to Impact Databank. Yellow Tail leads all Australian wines in the U.S. at 6.2 million cases in 2021, followed by 19 Crimes and Franzia (1.7 million cases last year).
While volume declines persist among most large-selling Australian brands, there were pockets of growth among smaller, pricier labels as well, such as from Penfolds (+24% to 74,000 cases in 2021). Last year, total Australian table wine dollars in IRI channels declined 5%, but premium brands and above combined for a 13% gain in value terms. As the nation emerges from the pandemic and the on-premise recovery continues, the outlook for premium Australian wines remains upbeat.—Juan BanaagSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.