Australia's largest family-owned wine companies are looking at ways to co-operate more closely in order to compete with industry giants Hardy Wines and Foster's Group, according to local reports.

The managing director of Tyrrell's Wines said a number of privately-owned groups were in talks on working together on logistics and transport. Tyrrell's Wines is already part of the Independent Winemakers Group buying consortium, which joins forces to buy wine bottles.

"We're looking at other things like logistics," Bruce Tyrrell told the Australian Financial Review today (13 May). "It allows us to keep our independence, but gives us some clout."

Ross Brown, the chief executive of another member of the consortium, Brown Brothers, told the Australian Financial Review that the co-operation "makes sense".

He added: "We'll co-operate but then beat each other's brains out in the marketplace."