Australian winemakers will be flying to the UK next week to boost the industry's image in specialy 'Australia Day 2009' events.

The Edinburgh event will take place on Australia Day itself - 26 January, which will involve wine tasting with Australian winemakers.

The winemakers, including Charles Melton, Kevin O'Brien, Mike Brown and Andrew Hardy,  will then move south to London, where the Emirates Stadium will play host to the Great Australian Wine Experience on 28 January.

Visitors will be guided through 800 wines, led by characters from the world of wine such as TV presenters Olly Smith and Isabelle Legeron, wine writer and educator Sarah Ahmed and Aussie sommelier Paul Green, from Jamie Oliver's restaurant 'Fifteen'.

Australian wine exports slid 18% by value to A$2.46bn last year, the first fall in 15 years, a December report from the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation said.

Australia remains the number one exporter to the UK, according to figures in last week's Vinexpo  global wine market report, however.

"As the lead category in the UK market, Australian wine needs to keep exciting its audiences and the tasting trails bring this alive," said Lucy Anderson, acting director UK/IRE/Europe for Wine Australia.