Australia's 2023 vintage is forecase to be the smallest in over two decades (pic: iStock)

Wine buyers around the world will be able to discover and connect with Australian wines on a "first-of-its-kind virtual platform" launching 27 April, the country's wine trade organization has announced.

Wine buyers around the world will be able to discover and connect with Australian wines on a “first-of-its-kind virtual platform” launching 27 April, the country’s wine trade organization has announced.

Australian Wine Connect presents an entirely new framework for doing business at a time of reduced travel, cancelled trade exhibitions and more emphasis on digital interactivity, according to Wine Australia.

The platform offers business-to-business matching services for retailers, importers and on-trade in Asia, the US, Canada, the UK, and beyond, as the country tries to offset the tariff blows from its biggest export market, China.

The project is launched after China slapped 218.4% tariffs on Australian wines, effective for the next five years, denting Australia’s AU$1.15 billion wine exports to the country, forcing Australian wineries to quickly diversity and pivot to other markets to buffer the blow.

Wine Connect (pic: Wine Australia)

With already over 230 exhibitors registered and total of over 1900 wine products, Connect will be a go-to resource for Australian wine over the next 12 months, says the trade association.

Trade will be able to conduct business with Australian wine brands in the Expo, as well as Explore and gain Education on Australia’s extraordinary and commercially robust wine scene.

Once registered, attendees can access the Expo featuring powerful search tools to allow global trade to browse Australian wines and wineries by region, style or variety and start conversations with the right brands to foster lasting relationships.

The Discover section surrounds the visitor with Australia’s spirit of innovation, showcasing its 65 diverse wine regions and varieties that make Australia so unique. The wine trade will also be able to explore new wines through specially curated collections.

Over the 12 months, the Conversations section will feature an ongoing series of live gatherings, including quarterly keynotes panel discussions on the future of drinking by global thought-leaders, a monthly deep-dive into key varieties and virtual tastings targeted to individual markets around the globe.

Growing the variety and selection of Australian brands in global markets is another key objective and there will be several programs facilitating new to market opportunities for Australian wineries in the USA, Canada, the UK and Asian markets.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said, ‘We’re proud to bring the Australian spirit of innovation and creativity that we’re world-famous for, to the way we do business. Wine Australia has been working hard to develop a valuable opportunity for Australian wineries to continue marketing and selling their wines overseas this year.

“Australian Wine Connect has been designed to generate powerful commercial outcomes for the global wine community. This dynamic approach will no doubt foster hundreds of lasting relationships between Australian wine producers and international wine trade, and we are very excited to help facilitate these conversations”, he said.

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