Australian wine producers are to step up marketing in North America and continental Europe in an effort to achieve total exports of A$3 billion (US$1.98 billion) by the end of the year, according to Jonathan Scott, general manager of the Australian Wine Export Council (AWEC).

The attempt to top the long growth boom which has resulted in current sales of A$2.4 billion (US$1.59 billion) will be hampered by the strong local currency. Scott was speaking at the opening of the third Australian Wine Marketing Conference in Adelaide, South Australia.

AWEC plans to open a third office in North America to pursue growth.