Supermarket discounting down to producers11th November, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Producers shouldn’t moan about the price of their wines being slashed in supermarkets, because they are in control of the situation, according to one key Australian producer.
Speaking to the drinks business during a visit to London last week, Sam Temme, international sales manager of McLaren Vale-based Wirra Wirra, said: “Producers shouldn’t complain about their wines being discounted in supermarkets, because at the end of the day they are letting their wine be sold at that price.
“Everyone can control the price they sell their wine for, so they are letting that situation occur by selling their wines to supermarkets at a discounted price,” he added.
Having implemented biodynamic practices at certain vineyards at Wirra Wirra, Temme believes the positive results are already visible in the grapes.
“2011 was a cooler vintage and the vines became prone to disease, but our biodynamic vineyards were in a considerably healthier state with thicker skins, which proves that biodynamic grapes perform better in more difficult years,” he told db.
In addition to Shirz, which, Temme believes, remains Australia’s flagship grape, Wirra Wirra is seeing great results from Spanish varieties like Tempranillo.
“Iberian grape varieties like Tempranillo and Monastrell perform really well in the McLaren Vale – we’ve got a small production Touriga Nacional on the way.
“Italian whites like Fiano and Vermentino are also showing great potential, as is the current darling Spanish white grape – Albariño.
“We’re currently only making small amounts of Tempranillo, Monastrell and Touriga Nacional for our cellar door, but the first two have proved incredibly popular so we are seeking to expand production to satisfy demand,” he said.
“It will take time for the vines to age and really bring out the varietal character. I think our versions show more primary fruit to their Spanish counterparts,” he added.
While Temme admitted that Grenache remains a “tough sell” in export markets, he is excited by the potential of the 2012 vintage of the estate’s Absconder Grenache.
“The McLaren Vale and the Barossa boast the oldest Grenache vines in the world, so we have a chance to really play on that unique selling point.
“We were recently given the green light to be able to buy fruit from a 97-year-old Grenache vineyard near us, which is bound for our Absconder Grenache,” he said.
“The 2012 vintage is the first using the fruit from this vineyard and it’s made a phenomenal wine with luscious tannins, good acidity and lovely red fruit,” he added.
While on sale in China and Russia, Wirra Wirra has recently branched out to Brazil in time for next year’s World Cup.