The Australian winemaker BRL Hardy, which is set to be acquired by US giant Constellation Brands, has its eye on Germany as the best opportunity for growth in the business and says it is getting closer to making a deal in the country to boost its presence there.

BRL managing director Stephen Millar said in an interview yesterday that Germany remained the company's "No.1 development market opportunity", but North America and Britain remained its biggest growth markets.

And he added: "I think that what we need to add is a route to market through Germany, now whether that is through establishing your own business, buying a current business, joint venturing with someone," said Millar. "All of those are on the table...we're getting closer."

Last year BRL Hardy was one of three of Australia's largest winemakers to join forces to push Australian wines in the German market, in a combined US$213,000 effort.

BRL Hardy, Southcorp and Orlando Wyndham said they aimed to lift the sales of Australian wine in one of the world's markets largest market but where Australian still only holds less than 1% of consumption.

Millar concluded yesterday by saying that he saw no reason why shareholders would not back his deal with Constellation when they vote on it later this month.