Wine Industry in Crisis

Today I received information from the Upper Goulburn Wine Growers Association, of whichTwo Hills Vineyard is also a member, about the current problems in the North-East Victorian wine industry. As you all know, the 2007 vintage was volumewise much smaller than earlier vintages. In fact the crushed tonnage was 65% less than average. Because of the adverse conditions (late frosts among them) in 2007, the tonnage projections for the 2008 vintage are about 50% of normal times. This has a far reaching impact on the region, the councils, growers, wineries, consumers, tourists and the people in rural Victoria’s North-East. The livelihood of many producers, wine grape growers as well as wine processors, is threatened.

The Victorian Wine Industry Association has come up with a hands-on training program for those affected. This modular program looks at four main areas:

1. Vineyard Management
2. Business Sustainability
3. Market Development
4. Winery Tourism

For a boutique vineyard such as Two Hills all of these are very important. I am particularly interested in the possibility of future wine grape sales online. As an absentee owner, I appreciate more information about potential sales, demand and prices. Of course this year we had no problem in selling our fruit. Just that we did not have enough of them, and that’s made 2007 a bad year so far, the volume was just no there. It was good news for the receiving wineries, they got first class fruit from Two Hills. The online sales mechanism is most likely to be housed

I also expect that I will have good use for the planned benchmarking guide for small wine businesses and the standardised Gross Margin Calculator. Though we are already exporting some wine, I hope to benefit from the country specific export market guide kit. If anybody of my readers knows any reliable importer, for instance in Germany but also elsewhere, please let me know. Our volumes at Two Hills Vineyard are small. Our single site vineyard does not allow blending with other fruit, which makes the special character of our products. Moreover, ‘exciting to drink a wine every year, for instance Merlot, from the same location and it always tastes different: one tastes the specific year, its climate, the soil….

I am an unlikely beneficiary of the training itself. Have I told you that we have booked our flights to Australia and that we will be in Glenburn from 11 July till 15 August? Come and visit us and have a glass of Two Hills wine.


Lunching together with family and friends

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