Australian wine shines at Vinexpo Asia

The Australian wine pavilion at Vinexpo Asia 2023. Photo: Wine Australia


By Hans Mick in Singapore

The promotion of Australian wine has taken a prominent place — and proven a great success — at Vinexpo Asia 2023 in Singapore.

The major international event wrapped up yesterday after three days of exhibition displays, tastings, information sessions, masterclasses and, importantly, meetings to discuss business opportunities.

It was the first time that Vinexpo Asia had been held in four years due to an absence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In terms of national presence at this year’s event, Australia’s producers occupied the third largest exhibition space at Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, behind only France and Italy.

A contingent of 74 wineries headed to Singapore to represent Australia at Vinexpo Asia.
The B2B trade show is one of the largest industry events in the Asia-Pacific region and it brought together nearly 1000 wine producers from 35 countries to pour their wines and connect with distributors.
More than 8000 trade visitors and buyers from more than 60 countries, also attended the event.

Australia was one of eight countries to host a pavilion along with Austria, France, Singapore (who had two), the USA, Argentina and Chile.

The Australian pavilion also featured four regional exhibitors: McLaren Vale, the Riverland, Yarra Valley and Western Australia.

An Australian wine masterclass at Vinexpo Asia 2023. Photo: Wine Australia


Wine Australia’s general manager, marketing, Paul Turale, said that there had been “a positive buzz” surrounding Australia’s exhibitors. He said the event has shown the importance of south-east Asian markets to Australian wine exporters.

“South-east Asia as a market for Australia is growing and has continued to grow at all price points over the last two or three years. I think Asia as a whole now represents about a third of our total global exports, the other thirds being in North America and in Europe. So, having that market diversity is going to be really important for a sustainable industry into the future,” Turale said.

He explained that the exhibiting Australian producers represented a mix when it came to size and export experience.

“There’s probably half that have already got some significant distribution throughout the region. Those wineries would be here to re-engage with customers they might not necessarily have seen except over Zoom or similar over the last couple of years.

“There’ll be others that are looking for distribution, who have traditionally been domestic or may have sold into other export markets, that see south-east Asia as a huge opportunity.

“We’re here to try and build new relationships, build new partnerships and, ultimately, sell some more wine to new customers across the region.”

Lyndall Rowe, executive officer at Riverland Wine, said her region’s presence had attracted a lot of positive attention.

“It’s been fantastic. We’ve had such a diverse range of people coming to the stand.”

Rowe said potential buyers from many different Asian countries, including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia, had shown interest in Riverland wines.

“We’ve been seeing a few trends too, particularly for sparkling wine, which is really great. But they’ve also been really interested in our traditional wines as well, such as our Shiraz, Cabernet and so on.”

Wendy Killeen, managing director of Stanton & Killeen Wines in Rutherglen, Victoria, praised the running of this year’s Vinexpo Asia and said that Australia’s prominent pavilion had been well organised and that this had fostered a real sense of camaraderie amongst winemakers.

“It’s been a wonderful job to bring us all together like this,” she said.

Killeen explained that for a smaller producer an event such as this is a unique opportunity to reach international buyers.

“There’s no other way that I know how to do that, to connect with these buyers,” she said, “but this is an ideal way.”

Many of the Australian exhibitors had organised formal appointments with international distributors. By the end of the event’s final day many said they’d been kept very busy by a stream of “walk-ups”. Most said these meetings will now be followed up with calls, emails and even virtual tastings to hopefully secure export sales.

The event marked the first time that Vinexpo Asia had been held in Singapore, with plans now for the next event to return to Hong Kong in 2024.

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