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UK wine business leader Mike Paul to present the 2007 Wine Press Club Lecture

The United Kingdom has been Australia’s most important wine export market for two centuries and remains so, no matter how much producers talk about other markets. And yet, after two decades of unprecedented growth, Australia’s position of market pre-eminence is in doubt.

The Wine Press Club of NSW is pleased to announce that UK wine business leader Mike Paul is to deliver the 2007 Wine Press Club Lecture on Tuesday October 16 at Darling Harbour — on the topic of Australia’s UK Wine Market – Overdue for Review? He’s well qualified to comment on the challenges Australia faces in the UK, having been a wine trade leader in the UK for more than 15 years.

Mike has been managing director of Southcorp Europe and then of Western Wines, the company that created and developed Kumala, South Africa’s leading export brand. More recently, Mike chaired the UK Wine Trade Action Group, which acted as a major catalyst to reform the UK Wines and Spirit Association.

In his address to the Wine Press Club, Mike will focus on the urgent need for the trade to think more laterally about how to engage the consumer given the declining margins of both producers and retailers. In a landscape dominated by a dwindling number of ever-larger retailers, he will highlight the most dangerous of inappropriate and misguided marketing initiatives. Mike will also identify key competitors and discuss the fragmentation of the market, as well as commenting on the AWBC’s Directions 2025.

“This is a talk not to be missed,” Darren Jahn, President of the Wine Press Club, said.

“We will come away having been challenged to consider new forms of production, distribution and industry structures, to ensure the future of wine as a charismatic and prestigious product. While primarily discussed from the view of an Englishman, we will find plenty that’s relevant to other important wine markets, including our own.”

The Annual Wine Press Club Lecture is a major event in the Australian wine industry calendar. Since they began in 2003, the Lectures have provoked debate and created news worldwide, thanks to noteworthy speakers that include Jeffrey Grosset, Brian Croser, James Halliday and Dan Berger.

The Wine Press Club Annual General Meeting will precede the Lecture. Following the Lecture, WPC President Darren Jahn will host the President’s dinner where Mike Paul will be guest of honour. This four-course celebration dinner will be accompanied by an outstanding selection of regional Australian wines selected from Club Patron James Halliday’s Top Ten New Wineries list in his 2008 Australian Wine Companion, along with a blind-tasted options wine selected by Darren.

For more information and bookings visit www.winepressclub.com.au



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