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Impact Databank: Australian Wines Showing Signs of Recovery

March 22, 2023

After supply chain issues resulting from the pandemic exacerbated the long-term decline of Australian wines in the U.S., industry hopes were bolstered in 2022 as total wine shipment volume from Australia to the U.S. returned to pre-pandemic levels. Including bulk, sparkling wine, fortified wine, and all other types, import shipments increased 29% last year to 15.65 million 9-liter cases, according to Impact Databank. The U.S. is the largest export market for Australian wine by value and second-largest by volume after the U.K.

Australia has contributed to the growth of the premium-priced wine sector overall in the U.S., as Australian wines priced between US$15 and US$25 per bottle increased by 6% in volume terms in 2022, according to Wine Australia. Even though some large Australian brands have declined recently, there were pockets of growth among smaller, pricier labels, such as Treasury Wine Estates’ Penfolds (+14% in 2022) and Vineyard Brands’ Calabria Family (+53%).

As shipping challenges eased, Australian wine producers were able to deliver their large inventories of the 2021 and 2022 vintage to customers abroad. The number of exporters to the U.S. grew by 5% last year to 303, the highest since 2008, according to Wine Australia. Of those, 241 exporters were shipping in the above A$10 per liter price segment in 2022, up from 222 in 2021 and the highest number for a calendar year since 2007. Two-thirds of these exporters either started exporting or grew their exports in this price segment during 2022.

Two years ago, market leader Yellow Tail from Deutsch Family entered the “better for you” wine sector with Pure Bright, a low-cal, low-alcohol offering. Last month, Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes label also entered the segment with Martha’s Lighter Chard ($15 a 750-ml), the latest collaboration between the brand and Martha Stewart. This marks the second partnership between Stewart and Treasury, following Martha’s Chard, released in early 2022. Treasury also recently extended 19 Crimes with a California Sauvignon Blanc, Snoop Cali Blanc, retailing at $15 and marking the fourth entry in 19 Crimes’ collaboration with Snoop Dogg, joining Snoop Cali Red, Cali Rosé, and Cali Gold.

Even though these recent 19 Crimes partnerships are sourced from California, the hope is that wine drinkers will once again gravitate to the brand’s well-known Australian labels, as high inflation and tough economic conditions impact disposable incomes. Some labels from California producers also source some wines from Australia, such as The Wine Group’s Franzia—the U.S. market’s largest-selling wine brand overall, Franzia sold over 2.3 million cases of Australian wine in 2022—and Corbett Canyon (over 300,000 cases), according to Impact Databank.—Juan Banaag

Top Five Australian Wine Brands in the U.S.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Rank Brand1 Importer 2021 2022 Percent
1 Yellow Tail Deutsch Family
Wine & Spirits
6,016 5,536 -8.0%
2 19 Crimes2 Treasury Wine Estates 2,387 2,216 -7.2%
3 Lindemans Treasury Wine Estates 764 634 -17.1%
4 Jacob’s Creek Pernod Ricard USA 354 314 -11.4%
5 Yellow Tail
Pure Bright
Deutsch Family
Wine & Spirits
142 203 43.3%
Total Top Five 9,663 8,903 -7.9%
1 Excludes predominantly domestic brands and other imported wines
with some Australia volume

2 Includes some wines from California
3 Based on unrounded data
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2023
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