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.
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.