Consumer demand sees organic wine shine for the first time at WineTech

Posted by Josette Dunn on 12th July 2010

The Australian wine industry had its first opportunity to learn about organic wine production last week at the industry’s major triennial event, WineTech in Adelaide.

Organic representative group Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) joined biological farm input manufacturers to highlight the quality potential of organic wines.

BFA General Manager Holly Vyner says that contrary to popular belief of several years ago, Australian organic and biodynamic wines are proving they can surpass the quality of their conventionally produced counterparts.

“The stand showcased an impressive and rapidly increasing number of Australian award-winning organic and biodynamic bottles and catalogue of a sample 100 awards won by quality organic winegrowers over the past year.

“Assisting with this recognition are some highly acclaimed wine critics including Max Allen, who has a website dedicated to educating consumers about the environmental benefits and quality potential of biodynamic wines.”

Research has also shown that over the past two years consumers have become more willing to pay a premium for environmentally-friendly and organic wines.  A 2009 study by Dr Hervé Remaud and Dr Simone Mueller of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science found that wine consumers are placing higher importance on sustainability and health, and becoming more ‘eco-friendly’ when purchasing wine.

“Clearly there is room for further growth of the segment valuing the organic claim, as well as opportunities for the eco-friendly segment to start valuing organic wines (in addition to the environmental claim),” Dr Remaud said.

“On a global scale, sustainability will be a ‘hot button’ in wine consumption for the next few years [and] I believe that Australia will follow this same trend in the coming years.”