International Competition Draws Attention To Investing In Wine Down Under

By: Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son is part of Invezz’s journalist team. She has a BA degree in European Studies and a… read more.
on Feb 11, 2013

When it comes to investing in wine, many punters have a clear preference for French wines, particularly Bordeaux, but a recent international wine competition in Asia is likely to put Australia in the wine investment spotlight, with Australian wines winning six out of the 13 prestigious international wine trophies.

**Australia Wine Beats French Bordeaux**
On 5 February 2013, Bloomberg reported that Fox Creek Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, from McLaren Vale in South Australia, beat wines from France, California and South Africa to win the Red Bordeaux Varietal International Trophy in the Decanter Asian Wine Awards (DAWA).
The inaugural DAWA took place in Hong Kong, which, as noted by Sarah Kemp, publishing director at Decanter and founder of the Asian wine awards, has become the world’s largest rare and fine-wine auction market Indeed, the average price per bottle sold at retail in the Chinese special administrative region is roughly three times what people spend on wine in the United Kingdom.

Decanter magazine reported that Australia emerged as the overall best performing country in the competition, picking up six of the 13 trophies – the highest number from a New World country. Decanter quoted Ray Gatt, owner of Gatt Wines and winner of Riesling International Trophy for his Eden Springs High Eden Riesling 2008, as saying that he was “delighted” to win the award.

Gatt continued, “It was a very competitive competition with many entries, so for my Riesling to be judged the very best, not only from Australia, but also from all over the world, is a great honour for our winery and the team there.”
Those interested in investing in wine should note that the winning Australian wines included Bay of Fires from Tasmania, which received the prize for Chardonnay, and Brokenwood Maxwell Vineyard Semillon from the Hunter Valley which took the prize in the single-varietal white category.

**Other Winners**
Despite Australia’s dominance at the competition, France managed to secure a few awards, with Bloomberg reporting that Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne 2004 triumphed in the Sparkling Wine category, whereas the Sweet International Trophies went to Seigneur d’Aupenac 2009 from Cave de Roquebrun, Piper-Heidsieck’s 2004 Brut and Château Suduiraut’s 2005 Sauternes, respectively.

Wines from Argentina, Italy, New Zealand and Spain also picked up one international award each.
**“Asian Palate”**
Investors looking at investing in wine should further note that one of the purposes of the DAWA competition was to mark the differences in regional tastes. Bloomberg reported that Decanter, which has held its World Wine Awards in London since 2004, wanted to test the notion of a distinct “Asian palate”.
“There are differences in what consumers prefer around the world,” noted Hong Kong-based Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee. “The US palate is different from the European palate. We want to discover if there is an Asian palate.”
Decanter magazine noted that the competition managed in its first year to establish itself as Asia’s largest wine competition, with over 90 percent of the judges currently based in Asia. In addition, although the competition was open to any wine commercially available anywhere in the world, priority was given to those wines already present on the Asian market.
!m[Inaugural Hong Kong Wine Fair Sees Australian Wine Besting The Best From France and California](/uploads/story/1422/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)
**Australian Focus**
The results of the Hong Kong competition are nevertheless likely bring Australia to the attention of investors interested in investing in wine, given the country’s impressive victories in the Bordeaux and Chardonnay categories over French wines.
Decanter magazine reported that Australia was the country with the most entrants, with 378 wines, followed by Chile with 185, New Zealand with 148 and South Africa with 136. France weighed in with 160 Bordeaux wines.

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