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Win the Ultimate Hunter Holiday

Thanks to all our producers

Wine Selectors could not have enjoyed 38 years of success without the support of the wine producers of Australia.

Some of them, including Tyrrell’s, Drayton’s and McWilliam’s, have been with us from the beginning, providing us with quality wine and themselves the opportunity to introduce their product to Australian wine lovers.

As part of our anniversary celebrations, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our 400+ producers – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Here’s what some long standing producers had to say about us

Bruce Tyrrell - Managing Director, Tyrrell's Wines

Wine Selectors has put a lot of glasses of wine in lots of mouths so has been an important part of getting the consumer to try and then drink more wine and a wider variety. In the 70s and 80s no-one was selling decent table wine in Queensland so Wine Selectors helped fill that gap.

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Do you recall some of your wines that were popular back in 1975? Most labelling was generic then, Chablis, White Burgundy etc, our biggest sellers were special sweet sherry, sparkling moselle and the rising star on the horizon was blackberry nip. Dry white table wine was generally reserved for eccentrics! Our cellar door price list had 6 table wines, 16 sparklings and 23 fortifieds. Who can forget Ginger Sherry.

Has Wine Selectors opened up the Hunter Valley's wines to the rest of Australia? Wine Selectors has put a lot of glasses of wine in lots of mouths so has been an important part of getting the consumer to try and then drink more wine and a wider variety. In the 70s and 80s no-one was selling decent table wine in Queensland so Wine Selectors helped fill that gap.

Like yourselves, Wine Selectors is a family business. How does dealing with Wine Selectors fit in with your family business ethos? We try to do as much business as we can with family businesses, we all tend to think on a longer term basis and also Wine Selectors has always been run by good people.

The past 35 years have seen rapid growth in the Australian wine industry. Your company has thrived over that time, can you briefly describe some of the changes? The big changes for us were moving interstate to be part of the red wine boom we saw coming in the early 90s and knowing the Hunter did not have enough good red soil or consistency of climate to ride the boom. Secondly, selling the Long Flat brand to get us out of the bottom market which was going cheap and dirty, letting us concentrate on the better end. And thirdly, the selection and concentration on the great single site vineyards of the Hunter; these wines will show terroir really exists in Australia, and also that the Hunter really is Australia's answer to Burgundy.

How do you see the next 35 years? What challenges and opportunities do you see? I wish I had a looking glass. Direct to consumer sales for all levels of wine will rise as the retail industry continues to sell wine badly, offering nothing but price discounting. The world of wine may break into two groups like spirits; one that provides a beverage product made from grapes to the supermarkets at a cheap price and another that provides fine wine more and more direct to the consumer. In the short term the pain for grape growers all over the globe will continue until everyone has reduced their plantings. The world simply has too many grapes.

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John Drayton

John Drayton - Managing Director, Drayton Wines

Family owned businesses are the backbone of business in Australia. A true sense of belonging exists, you are not just a number, you just don't produce a product. The products produced by a family business have a greater sense of achievement and value than those produced by larger 'faceless' organisations.

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Has Wine Selectors opened up the Hunter Valley's wines to the rest of Australia? Wine Selectors has provided the perfect vehicle for a family business like ourselves to reach a vast audience for our product. Many new markets have opened up via the 'introduction' of our wines to a vast number of wine consumers.

The past 35 years have seen rapid growth in the Australian wine industry. Can you describe some of the changes? Over the past 35 years the Australian palate has developed a fine sense of great wines and the industry has delivered. We have moved to producing great regional wines, that can only be produced successfully by dedicated family run businesses.

Like yourselves, Wine Selectors is a family business. How does dealing with Wine Selectors fit in with your family business ethos? Family owned businesses are the backbone of business in Australia. A true sense of belonging exists, you are not just a number, you just don't produce a product. The products produced by a family business have a greater sense of achievement and value than those produced by larger 'faceless' organisations.

How do you see the next 35 years? What challenges and opportunities do you see? Towards the end of the last 35 years we have seen the 'joining together' of many large and small wineries. This trend cannot continue and we will see a breakdown in these large groups. The production of fine wines is not suited to mass production where the ultimate aim is making money. Produce a great product, with individual characters and flavours, and the dollars will then flow. Small successful family run businesses will continue to thrive, large corporations will struggle to survive while their main aim is to make dollars and not wine. May I wish Wine Selectors all the best in celebrating 35 years and no doubt one day they will reach the milestone of being in business for over 155 years. By that stage Drayton's Family Wines will be that much closer to celebrating 200 years.

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Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell - Director and Winemaker, Campbells Wines

We have a similar approach to business and a mutual understanding of how our respective businesses run. As a family-owned winery as opposed to a corporate operation, we're not all about money, of course we have to survive, but we're about building for the future and I think Wine Selectors shares that belief..

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How long have you been dealing with Wine Selectors? I've been dealing with Wine Selectors since the early days of the Hunter Valley Wine Society. I remember Rob Jones' first visit to see us down here in Rutherglen and it's great to see he's still there.

What benefits have you gained from working with Wine Selectors? Wine Selectors is a very astute company with a good team of keen people. We've enjoyed good exposure both through Wine Selectors and Selector magazine. It's not easy to sell wine to Wine Selectors and by that I mean they have a strict selection procedure and expect a certain standard. I've been up to sit in on a Panel tasting and found they have a very structured system of selection. Wine Selectors also has a great depth of staff, they actually visit the regions and know what the wineries are about.

Like yourselves, Wine Selectors is a family business. How does dealing with Wine Selectors fit in with your family business ethos? We have a similar approach to business and a mutual understanding of how our respective businesses run. As a family-owned winery as opposed to a corporate operation, we're not all about money, of course we have to survive, but we're about building for the future and I think Wine Selectors shares that belief.

The past 35 years have seen rapid growth in the Australian wine industry. Can you describe some of the changes? The biggest change for us has been the change in focus over the past 35 years from fortifieds to table wines. We've increased our production of table wines and introduced new varieties of grapes suited to the area; as well as classifying and repackaging our world famous muscats and topaques. Recent years have also seen the amalgamation of some great Australian wine names into corporate owned ventures. To combat the effects of this globally on Wine Brand Australia, we've been part of setting up the First Families of Wine initiative, a group focussing on promoting the heart and soul of the industry. We're now also faced with a list of issues including the vulnerability of the industry; alcohol is topical, with the government wanting to tax us out of existence. Then there's the health question and getting the over supply problem back into balance.

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Ralph Fowler

Ralph Fowler - Winemaker, Ralph Fowler Wines

In an increasingly confused market Wine Selectors gives us notoriety and publicity. We get some customers through our cellar door who have heard of us because they're Wine Selectors Members so it gives some brand recognition. I always think that the best advertising is getting people to taste our wine; as they say, one bottle tasted is worth $1000 worth of advertising!

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How long have you been dealing with Wine Selectors? We're in our 10th year now and prior to that I was with Leconfield for 10 years, so I've been dealing with Wine Selectors for about 20 years all up. Before that I worked in the Hunter Valley as winemaker for Tyrrell's and Hungerford Hill so got to know the Hunter Valley Wine Society when it was just starting out as well.

What benefits have you gained from dealing with Wine Selectors? In an increasingly confused market Wine Selectors gives us notoriety and publicity. We get some customers through our cellar door who have heard of us because they're Wine Selectors Members so it gives some brand recognition. I always think that the best advertising is getting people to taste our wine; as they say, one bottle tasted is worth $1000 worth of advertising!

Like yourselves, Wine Selectors is a family business. How does dealing with Wine Selectors fit in with your family business ethos? The people we deal with are real people and I can talk to them about real issues. Dave Mavor (Wine Selectors Tasting Panel member) was actually a cellar hand for a vintage at Leconfield in his early winemaking days.

The past 35 years have seen a lot of changes in the wine industry, can you describe some of those changes? It's been interesting to watch the success of Wine Selectors. By focussing on the smaller, family-owned business they've been able to maintain their identity. As the wine industry has become more corporatised with the buying up of bottleshops, Wine Selectors has remained one of the few avenues to get real wines made by family businesses into the market.

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