Margaret River wine producers maintaining rosé outlook for 2019 following slight decline in exports

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Bryce LuffThe West Australian
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VideoA $7 Margaret River wine has been named the 2018 best wine under $20.

WA’s premier winemaking region has been tipped for a solid 2019 following a decline in international exports, which came despite the growing popularity of Australian drops with overseas buyers.

International demand for wine produced in Australia was well up in the 12 months to December, 2018, with exports increasing 10 per cent in value to $2.82 billion, according to new figures from Wine Australia.

Western Australian exports were valued at $65m, a 9 per cent jump on the previous year.

The lion’s share ($30m) of that was sourced from Margaret River, a region which was down 5 per cent on 2017.

Wines of WA chief executive Larry Jorgensen said the timing and collection of data can affect results and that the decline from the popular South West tourist destination was “not a trend at this point”.

“With strong results in wine shows and reviews both for producers and as a region, Margaret River will continue to grow in export markets,” he said.

Mr Jorgensen said more widely it was positive to see increases to both the value and volume of wine exported from WA.

“WA producers have worked hard in overseas markets to achieve this growth,” he said.

China was easily Australia’s biggest market with sales to the region, including Hong Kong and Macau, topping $1.14b last year. It was an increase of 18 per cent on 2017.

The United States retained its position in second with sales worth $425m. But the figure did represent a 5 per cent fall on the previous 12-month period, which itself had come off a 2 per cent drop in 2016.

Exports to the UK were up ($389m, 12 per cent increase), as were sales to Canada ($210m, 12 per cent increase), New Zealand ($93m, 14 per cent increase) and Singapore ($89m, 18 per cent increase).

Japan ($55m), Germany ($54m), Netherlands ($42m) and Malaysia ($32m) rounded out the top 10.

Wine Australia chief executive Andreas Clark said he was pleased with how locals exporters had established themselves with overseas buyers.

“These figures demonstrate strong international demand and they highlight how Australian wine exporters have worked diligently to develop and maintain international markets,” he said.

“This demand translated into growth in almost all price segments.”

South Australia was the nation’s biggest exporter thanks to sales worth more than $1.7b.

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