Guide to exporting wine from Australia

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Romantic couple toasting their wine glasses in restaurant

Australia is home to some of the finest wines in the world, with many winemakers having developed a reputation for producing high-quality wines. As a result, Australian wine is in high demand globally, and many Australian wineries export their products to other countries.

The wine industry in Australia is big business. The country is the fifth biggest exporter of wine in the world and the wine industry contributes billions of dollars to the economy each year, reports Wine Australia.

According to the South China Morning Post, while recent tariffs by China have resulted in a decline in overall export volume, Australian wine exports, excluding mainland China, still increased by 5% in value to AU$2.06 billion in the 12 months to June 2022. This increase of AU$105 million is the highest value of growth since 2009 to 2010, according to a report by the Wine Australia manager for market insights.

Much of this growth is due to the increasing global demand for Australian wine. The United States is currently the largest export market for Australian wine, followed by the United Kingdom, China including Hong Kong and Macau, Canada, and Singapore. 

Australian wines are known for their high quality and unique flavours. The industry has also earned a reputation for innovation and excellence. With its warm climate and diverse terrain, the country is well-suited for growing a wide variety of grape varieties. As a result, Australian winemakers can produce wines that appeal to a wide range of taste buds, whether you're looking for a rich red to pair with a hearty meal or a crisp white to enjoy on a warm summer's day.

Unique challenges of exporting wines

However, shipping wine overseas can be a challenge for wineries. The delicate nature of wine makes it extremely susceptible to damage by heat, light, and vibration during transport from Australia.

Wine is sensitive to temperature changes, so it must be shipped in temperature-controlled containers to maintain their quality. They also usually come in fragile glass bottles that can be easily damaged in transit. This means that extra care must be taken to protect the wine bottles during exporting. 

Additionally, alcohol is a perishable product with a limited shelf life. This means that wines must be shipped quickly and efficiently to avoid spoilage.

Tips to export wines from Australia

1. Choosing the right markets

South-East Asia is a key lucrative market exporters should focus on. In fact, the most significant growth came from South-East Asia, which rose by 51% in 2022, reports Wine Australia. 

The proximity of the region to Australia makes shipping wine to South-East Asia relatively convenient. Producers can get their wines to consumers quickly and easily, ensuring that they arrive in perfect condition.

Additionally, there is an increasing demand for premium wines in South-East Asia. The region is also home to a rapidly growing middle class with an increasingly sophisticated palate. By shipping their wines to the region, they can tap into a growing market of eager consumers who are willing to pay a premium for quality products.

2. Adhere to custom regulations

When exporting wine, wineries must first obtain the proper permissions and liquor licenses from the Australian government. 

Next, research the customs regulations of the country you're sending to. Each country has different rules about what can and can't be imported, so it's important to make sure your shipment is compliant. 

Don’t forget about the duties as well. For example, in Singapore, wine of fresh grapes of alcoholic strength not exceeding 15% volume, in containers of 2 litres or less costs S$88.00 per litre of alcohol. 

3. Take note of packaging requirements

Packing your bottles of wine with the right packaging material will ensure your shipment is successful. Ensure your wine bottles are properly secured in a sturdy box with plenty of bubble wrap or other padding. Do also ensure the packaging meets the requirements of the destination country and includes all required information on the label. Lastly, don’t forget to purchase shipping insurance to protect your investment in case of damage during transit.

Choose a reliable shipping company that specialises in exporting wine. They'll be able to provide the proper equipment, warehouse, and technology to ensure your wine arrives in good condition.

By following the above three tips, exporters can minimise the risk of damage to their wines during transport.

Pop the cork of success together with DHL Express 

Shipping wine overseas can be a complex and expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be when you have the right logistics in place. Beyond wine, whether you’re shipping chocolates or exporting perfumes, DHL Express is here to help. Our logistics team understands the complexities of exporting wine and can guide you accordingly so your wine arrives at its destination intact and ready to be enjoyed. 

It’s time to begin your wine shipping journey by opening a MyDHL+ account today. Have further questions about exporting wine from Australia? Feel free to contact us via phone call or email.