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Tuesday 10 January 2017

Cellar door experience helps boost sales for small wineries

Small winemaking businesses generated $1 billion in wine sales revenue in 2015-16, an average increase of 12%, Wine Australia figures show.

While retailers and wholesalers generated 47% of income, cellar doors have become increasingly important sales channels, accounting for 27% of revenue.

With food and wine tourism on the rise, many small wineries are now also attracting consumers to their region via on-site restaurants, cafes, tours and boutique accommodation, in addition to the traditional cellar door.

Garry Sweeney, owner of Mount Lofty Ranges Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills (pictured), said his business has benefited from a strong cellar door focus.

"I’ve definitely seen a rise and increased diversity in visitors from interstate and overseas in the past year," he said.

"I believe it’s important to offer visitors more than just pouring wine, so you give them a ‘sense of place’ to associate with the wine," he said.

The survey also showed that on average, production was up 7%, with the highest average growth in wineries that produce 8000–20,000 cases (up 11%). 

Wineries that produce approximately 4000–8000 cases saw the highest average revenue growth (up 16%).

Australia’s small winemakers rely heavily on the domestic market, with 88% of wine sold locally. For wineries producing more than 20,000–40,000 cases, exports accounted for 27% of sales.

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