WITH Château Tanunda winery proprietor John Geber at the helm, the “Grand Barossa”, a 100-ft Azimut luxury yacht, embarks on a 10-week cruise along the US East Coast to raise awareness of super-premium Australian wine.
It’s no secret the past few years in the US market have been challenging for Australian wines, with million dollar write offs from large corporations.
Australia had gained a reputation for being a country dominated by the sub $10 category.
It is the mission of the Grand Barossa tour to challenge this perception and re-emphasise Australia’s strength and weight as a player in the $15-$20 and above price tiers.
Despite the challenges, Australia continues to be the number two imported country in wine in the US with a total of 183 million litres exported or $499 million value (Wine Australia May 2014).
According to IRI, in the off trade the Australian category continues to grow with volume up 1.6 per cent, and dollar value up 5.4 per cent (April 2014).
Consumers are drinking higher quality Australian wines at decreasing volumes.
Château Tanunda is a fitting winery to take on the challenge of bringing Australian wine back to a higher quality and price tier with its extensive history and reputation.
Built in the late 1880s, Château Tanunda is a designated monument in Australia’s Register of State Heritage Places and the tour is part of a larger strategic plan to be released during the company’s 125th Anniversary in 2015.
“To understand the beauty and complexity offered by the Barossa Valley, one must experience it,” Geber said.
“To overcome the obstacles of getting Americans to visit Australia we came up with the next-best thing: we’re bringing Australia to America.”
Geber and his wife Evelyne have left behind their life in Australia, committing to a courageous and unique endeavor in an effort to break through the clutter of a crowded wine market.
The Grand Barossa has five state rooms, indoor living room, kitchen, and indoor/outdoor dining areas including both lower and upper deck spaces.
During the tour, the Grand Barossa will travel up the east coast of the US, touching 12 states and more than 20 markets.
At each visit along the East Coast, John and Evelyne Geber will serve as ambassadors to Australia, hosting members of the trade and press to a taste of Barossa on board.
The program will include a mix of wine tastings, education, trade activity, and consumer events and will offer the US a total immersion in Australian culture, food, wine, art, music, sport, literature and landscapes of Australia.
While onboard Grand Barossa, key members of the US wine trade will learn more about Australia’s most famous wine region – its history, climate, geology, sub-regions and grape varieties, and of course receive a thorough grounding in the history, vineyards and wines of Château Tanunda.
The tour aims to touch more than 5000 retailers, restaurateurs and consumers.
Sales and marketing manager, Chateau Tanunda
P: 61 2 9451 0851