1929 Wine Overseas Marketing Board established

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

In 1929 the Australian government set up the Wine Overseas Marketing Board. It was financed by a levy on all grapes used for the manufacture of wine, brandy and spirit used for fortifying wine.  In 1936 it became known as the Australian Wine Board. Between 1925 and 1939 Australia exported an average of 2.8 million gallons (12.6 million litres) of wine to Britain annually, which was about 20 per cent of Britain’s total wine imports for that period.

The Wine Overseas Marketing Board published a booklet titled The Wine trade of Australia /​ with the compliments of the Wine Overseas Marketing Board of Australia and the subtitle From the sun-bathed vineyards of Australia, drink Australian wines.

In 1981 the Australian Wine Board was renamed the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. In 2013 it was replaced when an Act of Parliament established the Australian Grape and Wine Authority, trading as Wine Australia. The Authority is the single Australian Government statutory service body for the Australian grape and wine community. Its responsibilities include research and development, marketing and regulation for the Australian wine industry.  It is headquartered in Adelaide.

The industry has other peak bodies. The non-government Australian Grape & Wine Incorporated (Grape & Wine) was established in 2019 through the amalgamation of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) and Australian Vignerons (AV, and formally Wine Grape Growers Australia), to create a single united peak industry organisation, representing Australia’s wine grape and wine producers

Australia exports approximately 60 per cent of its wine and is the fifth largest exporter of wine in the world. As of 2016, Australia was the largest supplier of wine to Britain, with close to 25 per cent of imports coming from Australia, ahead of the United States, France, Italy and Spain. According to Wine Australia, the top five export markets by value (as of 2019) were:

*Mainland China (38 per cent of total export value)
*United States of America (15 per cent)
*United Kingdom (13 per cent)
*Canada (7 per cent), and
*Hong Kong (4 per cent)

The total value of Australian wine exports increased by 5 per cent to $2.78 billion in the 12 months to March 2019.

However, the industry suffered a major setback in March 2021, when China imposed  “anti-dumping” duties of between 116.2 per cent and 218.4 per cent on Australian wine imports. This, and other tariffs imposed on Australian goods such as barley, reflected a worsening of relationships between the two countries after the Morrison government supported an enquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 epidemic. The export of table wine to China virtually ceased.

In 2023, as the relationship improved, China indicated it was willing to review the tariffs on wine.

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