Feb. 1, 2012 – After cries from critics over a refusal to export some of the country’s most critically acclaimed wines, Wine Australia cut its export panel, the Australian Wine Export Council, and put an auditing system in place, according to Decanter.

Wine Australia, the government authority on wine export compliance and regulation, will no longer require exporters to submit their wines for approval. Instead, exporters will be subject to audit, must carry a license and must submit wine for comprehensive tasting.

The Australian Wine Export Council came under fire from writers and producers last year for its decisions, with journalists like Tim White calling the panel’s process “ridiculous.” The new system will come into full swing over the next 12 months.

From Decanter:

“Wine Australia’s chief executive Andrew Cheesman stressed that standards required for exported wines had not changed, ‘but our approach to administering these standards will move from reliance on pre-export product inspections to a risk-based approach.’

Industry needs had changed, he said. ‘When the current export controls were first introduced four decades ago, Australian table wine was hardly known overseas and there was a risk that even one faulty wine could hurt our reputation.’”

Read on for the full article.