And, of course, I do have an agenda to push. And it’s simple: 1) to bring wine business (and more cool wines) to this country and 2) let the wine industries understand the importance of Russian wine market
It’s been my motto since day one of my wine business writing: you don’t want to quit the market even when it’s in crisis, unless… Unless you don’t want to totally lose this market, forget it and disappear from it.
Are 5% of sales in Russia better than 0% sales in Russia? Are 15% better then 1%? Does it strike you odd that you have to answer these questions any 1st-grader can do? Some German and Italian wineries are considering Russia among their top 10 markets TODAY, in COVID19 times. What does it tell you? Are they just lucky to find a great partner? In a way they are, but as you all know, it takes a lot of work to get lucky and to KEEP being lucky.
When promotional bodies like Wine Australia, or Wines of Argentina, or Wines of Germany put all the eggs into one basket, they are asking for trouble. This trouble may come as a trade war with the US, China or whoever. And it does.
Russia has clearly not been in the best shape since 2014 Crimea turmoil. Mind you, ALL Russia’s trouble lie in political sphere, it takes good politics to put the economy back on rails. Despite that, people have been shopping for wine and drinking wine all that time.
The market performance, other than its socio-economic conditions is a function of efforts you put into developing that market. When you put zero, you get zero.
Australia has been putting zero for years now. Australian wines are out of the scope of Russian wine consumers and professionals. Some specific producers are present in this market, but they are mere loners. With no unified message about NEW Australian wines and the country’s wine industry development, these wines won’t go in HoReCa simply because neither somms nor trade nor consumers have any idea about what kind of wine is out there. And what to expect.
Without proper actions and communications, ten-year old stereotypes are dominating this market. So what do you want?
Why countries like Austria, Germany, Portugal and Italy have been paying attention and Australia haven’t? We’re very far away from Australia in distance terms, but not so far in cultural terms. We adore kangaroos here.
Let the Russians adore some Australian wines too.