Wine, the laggard of alcohol-free, is slowly starting to make inroads. Quality is improving and demand is growing but now buyers must back the fledgling category.
Looking again at grape varieties, rootstocks and massal selection could help growers adapt to rising temperatures.
The wine industry is making efforts on sustainability but progress is uneven and, for some, too slow. And what drinkers buy can be at odds with what they say they want.
China might be central to Australia’s current overproduction of wine but the industry’s problems run deeper.
Producing alcohol-free wine is time-consuming, complex and expensive, meaning the segment is not as advanced as in areas like beer.
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Just Drinks’ wine sector columnist Chris Losh sets out the issues facing industry executives in 2023.
Penfolds is investing heavily in Bordeaux. Might a heavyweight brand be a way of driving international interest in Beaujolais, another French region facing challenges?
With calls for more warning labels growing and more consumers embracing ‘mindful drinking’, the wine industry should swim with the tide and do its best to attach positive messaging.
Production in a normal year is around 5.5 million hectolitres, while Bordeaux’s sales are around 4m hl.
Excluding China paints a rosier picture of Australian wine’s fortunes oversees, but there are other clouds on the horizon.