Wine Talk

Snooth User: dmcker

Oz totally revamps wine export approval process: more interesting Aussie wine variety overseas?

Posted by dmcker, Jan 31, 2012.

The Australian wine industry's been going through massive self-reflection over the past few years, with a particular focus on exports. That's what happens when business results trend south, too much and too long, we must assume.

For decades they've had a pretty difficult and increasingly controversial approval process before export of any wine from any winery was allowed. The controversy came to a head last year, thus they just trashed their pre-approval process for a batch-audit, after-the-fact QC process, it appears. Hopefully this will mean more, more distinctive, smaller etc. wineries will ship their wares to us overseas in the future.

Decanter reported on the event here. The Booze Monkey blog had this to say on the subject:

 

Wine Australia Axes Wine Export Panel

  •  

    Wine Australia has axed its controversial export approval panel with immediate effect, replacing it with a permanent company audit regime, according to a statement released yesterday.

     

    Exporters will no longer have to submit their wines for approval but they will be licensed, they will be subject to audit, and they must provide wine for comprehensive testing as required.

     

    The auditing process will be expanded, Wine Australia says, with auditors visiting wineries to inspect records, examine labels and collect samples of exported wines.

     

    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."

     

    The Australian Wine Export Council panel, which was set up in 1929, was embroiled in controversy last year, with senior commentators and producers complaining it was out of touch after wines that had been lauded by critics were rejected for export.

     

    Journalist Tim White derided the panel's process as "ridiculous" and "anachronistic".

     

    Under the new system there will be an increased emphasis on ensuring winemakers understand the workings of the international regulatory environment, instead of judging wine quality.

     

    "We see that as our role in the modern, global industry. The market place and consumers should be the arbiter of wine quality," Cheesman said.

     

    The new system will be fully implemented over the next 12 months, with the support of the industry"s representative body, the Winemakers' Federation of Australia. All existing export licences remain current.

     

 

Replies

75
2362
Reply by JonDerry, Feb 2, 2012.

Always good to hear stories like this...

20
5989
Reply by dmcker, Feb 2, 2012.

Hey, at least she bumped the thread!  ;-)


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