Australia Trade Tasting Brings US Market Expertise to Melbourne

US representatives from the wine, beer and spirits industry found their way to the inaugural Australia Trade Tasting (AuTT) event in Melbourne on September 2 to present an impressive line-up of educational seminars to international industry professionals.

After a day of presentations defining the state of the Australian industry and an earlier trade tasting exploring new and innovative wines, beers and spirits set to expand in the Australian industry, US professionals came to give their expertise on successful expansion strategies for the USA on day three of the event.

Ranging from innovative consultants to distribution leaders, leading figures from the US industry presented on a wide range of issues facing international brand owners. The seminars opened with a welcoming presentation from Wine Australia Director Angela Slade, who gave visitors a clear outline of the current state of Australian wine inside the USA. Key findings from the data highlighted by Angela includes:

(Image: Angela Slade, Regional Director, North America, Wine Australia)


• Australian wine holding 5% (by value) of the US market share ($USD 600M);
• USA is the #1 one export market for Australian wine (by VAL $AUD 415M),
• A 27% increase in sales for premium offerings (over USD $20);
• Second largest imported wine (by volume) at 6% of total import wine into USA.
John Beaudette (President of MHW) followed Angela with an overview of the three tier distribution system and outlined how to successfully navigate the available options for international brands. Emphasizing the importance of compliance and clearly delineating the challenges that brand owners face, it was clear that his expertise was fully appreciated by the large array of visitors new to the three tier concept.
John MHW

(Image: John Beaudette, MHW)


Importer/ Consultant Deborah Gray (Bluestone Imports spoke on what it takes to secure an import partner and cement your brand in the American marketplace. Her presentation complemented Beaudette’s content by exploring successful strategies towards getting your product stateside, the first step in the three tier system.  Ben von Doussa (Wine Australia) continued the trend by highlighting the importance independent retailers put on a strong go-to market strategy from international brands. He shared valuable insight taken from the targeted retail programs designed for Wine Australia’s Market Entry program to help Aussie offerings find their footing in the USA.


Ben von Doussa
(Image: Ben von Doussa, Wine Australia)

Other topics included the detailed case study from successful Tasmanian distillery Sullivans Cove founder Patrick Maguire who shared invaluable lessons he learned from his highs and lows on the way to winning the ‘World’s Best Single Malt Whisky.’ Sid Patel, CEO of the event organizers Beverage Trade Network, spoke to attendees on the importance of a united team and how to leverage the lessons learned by the industry as a whole to create a clear path to sustainable expansion for your company. Touching back on the importance of due diligence in the US system, Tim Duval (DW Fox Tucker Lawyers) gave the audience practical advice on proper distribution agreements and ensuring payment and how to minimize overdue invoices.
Tim Duval (DW Fox Tucker Lawyers)

(Image: Tim Duval, DW Fox Tucker Lawyers)

Steve Raye (Bevology) and Peter McAtamney brought the event full circle with their harmonizing presentations on consumer building brand recognition and innovative content population through non-traditional marketing. Using their own unique points-of-view and examples, both presentations underlined the strategic advantage of developing strong consumer demand to ensure success across all three tiers.
Raye’s earlier emphasis on creating effective consumer and retailer programing to encourage depletion across the distribution chain was picked up and fully explored by the closing presentation from Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan (Barefoot Wines). Exploring their ‘Seven Sells,’ Michael and Bonnie gave readers a real insightful look into how to develop an efficacious business plan designed to succeed in taking a brand national across the US.

Produced by Beverage Trade Network, Australia Trade Tasting’s educational conference element of the trade show truly highlighted the dedication the organizers put into bringing the industry’s brightest minds to the forefront developing the international beverage community. The three days of events in Melbourne gave all attendees an extremely valuable look at the industry as a whole, from both the US and Australian stand point.

Post Conference Wrap Up: Australia Trade Tasting a Resounding Success.

Australia Trade Tasting Logo

September 7th saw Australian beverage representatives from around the country assemble at the SMC Conference Center in Sydney for the final day of Australia Trade Tasting.  Registering over two hundred attendees and hosting twenty four speakers from the US and Australia, the trade only tasting and educational conference event came to a close after moving from Melbourne over the weekend.

The event started with a traditional trade tasting in Melbourne at Albert Park Lake. Industry buyers tasted wine, beer and spirits exhibited by new and established brands from around the world. Visitors were also given the opportunity to attend Master classes where they had the pleasure of being fully immersed in the teachings of ambassadors from Cider Australia, Vins d’Alsace, and Castilla-La-Mancha.


AuTT visitors at the Australia Conference Day.

The next day, the event hosted industry leading figures from Australia who presented on current conditions of the national market as well as innovative solutions in sales, distribution and marketing.

The speaker line-up was truly one of the most impressive groupings of market makers Australia has seen come together at one event.  Natasha Rastegar (Wine Intelligence), Rose Scott (Woolworths), Glenn Cooper AM (Coopers Brewery), Stuart Gregor (Australian Distillers Association), Giuseppe Minissale (NSW Liquor Stores Association), Andre Eikmeier (Vinomoro), Kathleen Davies (Nip of Courage), Bill Lark (Lark Distillery),Tania Shirgwin (BizEez), award winning mixologist Jenna Hemsworth and award winning author Tyson Stelzer presented on an impressive amount of data and trends and visitors had a chance to network with speakers and peers alike throughout the day.


Wine Australia USA’s Angela Slade reporting on current market conditions for the Australian category in the US

The USA Conference day followed, again at the Park in Melbourne, on September 2, where USA professionals spoke on the current state of the USA industry and gave visitors an intimate look at what it means to develop a successful sales strategy.

Angela Slade (Wine Australia), John Beaudette (MHW, ltd.), Steve Raye (Bevology), Deborah Gray (BlueStone Solutions), Peter McAtamney (Wine Business Solutions), Tim Duval (DW Fox Tucker Lawyers), Patrick Maguire (Sullivans Cove), Ben von Doussa (Wine Australia), David Lipman (Hubspot), and Sid Patel ‘s (Beverage Trade Network) presentations used poignant case studies to drive home insightful looks into the inner workings of the US three tier system.

The Educational Conference ended with closing notes presented by Bonnie Harvey and Michael Houlihan, founders of Barefoot Wines, after their presentation,The Seven Sales, which outlined the various challenges that brand owners will face when securing US import, distribution and retail partners.


AuTT Trade Tasting exhibitors came from across the world.

The final day of the event took place in Sydney, where local and national buyers came to taste what exhibitor’s were showcasing for one last time.  After a week of tastings, events and unofficial gatherings, visitors and organizers alike reveled in the camaraderie that only a great event and even greater people can create.

Australia Trade Tasting and it’s organizers, Beverage Trade Network, would like to thank our sponsors, without whom the event could not have been possible.  Cider Australia, Vins d’Alsace, Wine Communicators of Australia, Wine Australia, Liquor Logistics, Wine Business Solutions, The Shout, EMDG Consulting, Wine Industry Suppliers Australia, Cargo Hound, Castilla La Mancha, Graphic Language Design, MHW, BizEez, Melbourne International Beverage Competition, Business France, Utilacor, Liquid Ideas, National Liquor News and Beer and Brewer – Many thanks to you and yours.  We look forward to working with you as we get ready for the next Australia Trade Tasting.

Australia Trade Tasting in Pictures


Australia Trade Tasting Kicks off with the Grand Tasting at The Park in Melbourne on August 31, 2015.


Andre Eikmeier, co-founder of Vinomofo, on building a healthy customer culture.


Ben von Doussa, from Wine Australia, spoke about “What To Cover In Your First 5 Minutes When Pitching Independent Retailers”


John Beaudette, CEO and President of MHW, gave visitors an-depth overview of the three tier system and the current state of the US market.


Deborah Gray presented on what US Importers want to see from Australian brands.


Tim Duval’s presentation, “Getting Paid and Managing Risk,” explored his top 3 legal tips when developing distribution and retail partners.


BizEez’s Tania Shirgwin enjoying her time at the conference before presenting, “Marketing Wineries via Digital Means.”


Giuseppe Minissale giving pointers about what independent merchants look for in supply partners.


Beverage Trade Network CEO Sid Patel takes a few moments to enjoy presentations on the Australia Conference Day.


Australia Trade Tasting is here!


It is our pleasure to invite you to ‘Australia Trade Tasting, a buyers only trade tasting and educational conference happening in Melbourne and Sydney.

Register here to get a free entry. SAVE $25 by booking online now. Tickets are $25 at the event registration desk.

Here is what you can expect at the event:

Time and Venue:
Date: Monday, 31 August 2015
Time: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM (AEST).
Location: The Park Melbourne, 36 Lakeside Drive, Melbourne
RSVP for Melbourne here
Date: Monday, 7 September 2015
Time: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM (AEST).
Location: SMC Conference Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney, NSW 2000
RSVP for Sydney here
We look forward to having you there.

Last Week To #AuTT Conference. Don’t miss!

LAST-WEEK2We are now in our last week of registrations of #AuTT15 conference, so time is ticking away to get your passes! Don’t miss your chance to see our amazing speaker lineup in action and network with other inspiration attendees.

For the LAST TIME* we’re throwing it back to our lowest price available — $450 for an All-Access 2 day Pass! Don’t miss one of the best sales, marketing and distribution content which will help you grow your brand. Attend 1st September and 2nd September and learn about different subjects at AuTT right here in Melbourne. Learn from the founders itself at AuTT conference.

If you prefer to wire us or send us the check, use the form here. Else simply reserve your seat online.

This would be the last chance to learn from the likes of Bill Lark, Glenn Cooper, Rose Scott, Stuart Gregor, Tyson Stelzer, Michael and Bonnie and many more great speakers. Book now >>


Here’s why you should attend #AuTT conference

Whether you are a craft distillery, craft brewery or a boutique winery that’s just starting out, or work in sales at an importer/distributor or at an established beverage company, or simply wish to expand your skill set and gain new perspective, AuTT Melbourne is a must attend event.

Join hundreds of fellow  winemakers, brew masters, distillers,  sales people and marketers at Australia Trade Tasting Conference which is designed to inspire and empower you with sales and marketing ideas—brought to you by Beverage Trade Network.

  1. Learn how to launch, market and grow your wine, beer or spirit brand.
  2. Reduce your trial and error time: Why experiment with your branding when you can fast-track your time to success? The experts at this event will empower you to focus on what really works (and prove to others it works).
  3. Network with marketers just like you: Imagine connecting face-to-face with hundreds of people—just like you—as you share stories, gather ideas and build relationships that last for years.
  4. Meet the speakers. Attendees will learn first-hand from presentations and also have the unique opportunity to directly engage with new industry contacts.
  5. Get your ROI by getting great content. The right conferences not only allow you to meet smart, inspiring people, but also teach you a ton — especially in skills that make you a more well-rounded professional. AuTT Conference is all about How To Do It’. We are not going to discuss where the industry is going, what are the problems – instead we are going to discuss how to make it happen and do it better.
  6. It’s in Melbourne. What a great city. The people are friendly, with everything from burger joints to swish eateries with big-name chefs, and there’s also a thriving bar scene.

Below is a sampling of what you will learn.

  • How to manage and grow your brand. By Glenn Cooper
  • How to pitch your brand to independents bottleshops. By Giuseppe Minissale
  • How to make people fall in love with your brands. By Stuart Gregor.
  • How to create a culture and how to share that with your customers. By Andre Eikmeier
  • How to grow your brand in on-premise accounts. By Jenna Hemsworth
  • How to create effective retail merchandising programs that work in retail. By Rose Scott
  • How to build your brand as a sustainable brand. By Bill Lark
  • How To Pitch Your Brand To A Prospective Distributor. By Kathleen Davies
  • How to sell as the founders of the world’s highest selling wine brand ‘Barefoot’ take on the stage and talk on Sales Fixes Everything: Seven Level of Sales tiers. By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
  • Top 3 Tips on geting paid and managing risks by Tim Duval

Other relevant information:


For Questions, please email or call on 0450 856 094.


AuTT Exhibitor Registration


Other relevant information:

If you have any questions, or need to book via phone, please call 0450 856 094.


How to Get Chinese Consumers to Focus on Your Wine Label

China is not a country with a long tradition of drinking wines, but the Chinese consumers are some of the fastest learners in the world. A design with very traditional Chinese elements, such as deep reds with golden highlights, might have worked a decade ago, but today’s well-educated and growing middle-class has access to more disposable income, are open minded, love modern lifestyle, and normally refuse to buy labels with too much traditional Chinese elements.  Instead, the average modern Chinese consumer tend to lean towards labels that are adapted from a combination of western tradition and Chinese ideals.

Australia Trade Tasting gets insight from Rachel Wang, Professional consultant German Wine Institute China Office and contributing author to WINE magazine, on consumer tendency in China.

After interviewing a few wine lovers, media, and ordinary consumers, here are some clues for you to look at that show what the average Chinese consumer is looking for.

Simple is Best


Pic 1

The Chinese identity responds well to simple symbols of respect, honor, tradition, and reputation, so it is always better to use a single letter or initial (pic 1) or a simple picture (pic 2) that embodies the theology of your brand.  Because not everyone in China has a strong language skill to remember or pronounce foreign languages, most consumers will choose the ones with simple elements that are easy to remember.  It’s easy for them to say to themselves and their friends, “Last night I tried the label with the K (or even Baron K) and it was very good,” but it’s hard for them to remember something like, the Baron zu Knyphausen Riesling from Rheingau.  The communication and education programs between sales teams and consumers is much smoother if symbols are used because the consumer can easily associate the symbols with the wine’s origin and brand story.

Pic 2.

Pic 2.

You also want to keep local tradition if the wines are from the Old World because, for Chinese consumers especially, drinking wine is like experiencing the local culture. The more traditional, the more attractive it is for the Chinese consumer (Pic 3).  Wine lovers in China will always tell you something like, “When I sip wine from Europe, I want to feel the history and the tradition.  The label is a bridge connecting the present and the past. Also, it gives the wine a perceived value. If the wine label is modern in style, such as a painting, I will think the quality is not good.”

Pic 3

Pic 3

In order to really lure the Chinese towards your label, it’s about finding a sweet spot  between representing a story and offering an easily recognizable label that they will remember and relay to other consumers.   If you aren’t an old world winery that can rely on long-standing tradition and heritage, than you need to find fun and exciting ideas that Chinese can associate with (Pic 4).  Using summer themes for white wines and roses seems to resonate well with consumers and elegant and strong branding is a good choice for most new red labels.

Pic 4

Pic 4

Never Short of Quality

In China, quality is still the foundation of any consumer favorite. Even if consumers are attracted by your label and decide to try your wine, its your wine’s quality that will ultimately show them that their purchase represents good value.  The success of any sales team is the pursuit of a growing continued buyer population. In China (besides the extremely rich population of wine collectors who can purchase on reputation for practically any price) the average consumer is a value driven consumer, so offer them a great product in a package they can understand with a story that captures their imagination.

Looking to learn more on beer, spirits or wine sales and distribution? Get involved with Australia Trade Tasting educational conference on 1st and 2nd September in Melbourne.

new_blog_headerPlease book using the below form now



GLENN COOPER: Keynote speaker at the Australia Market Educational Conference

AuTT Header DatesWe are very excited to announce Glenn Cooper (Chairman, Cooper Brewery) as the first of our keynote lineup for AuTT Conference 2015!

speaker_GLENN_COOPERGlenn is the current Chairman of Coopers Brewing, Australia’s largest independent brewing company and named in 2011 as the world’s top family business in 2011. He was until June 2014 the Marketing Director of Coopers. He is also the current Chairman of Australian Made and Australian Grown.

Glenn will be talking on Managing and Growing Your Beer Brand: Specialist Brands Against The Global Breweries.

Glenn held the the responsibility of Marketing and oversaw the launch of numerous beers in the Coopers range, including Dark Ale, Extra Strong Vintage Ale, Mild Ale, Premium Lager, and more recently, Coopers Clear. Glenn will be sharing his insight on management and sales at the 2015 AuTT conference in September.


AuTT Conference Tickets


Get inspired by Patrick Maguire, MD of Sullivans Cove Single Malt Whisky

Get inspired by Patrick Maguire, Manager/Director of Sullivans Cove Single Malt Whisky (Tasmania Distillery Pty Ltd) when he takes on the stage on 2nd September in Melbourne.

Patric share his incredible journey of buying a failed business and turning it around and their journey in export and local markets ultimately winning the “Worlds Best Single Malt Whisky” Award.

Patrick Maguire