South Australian juice is sparkling in China
Patritti Wines has been making wine in Adelaide’s southern suburbs since 1926, but began making juice products in 1974 in reaction to the decline of the Australian wine industry and a glut of grapes. Now its sparkling grape juice is driving its success in China.
In the past 12 months, the company exported 203,000 cases of wine, de-alcoholised wine and sparkling fruit juice around the world.
China is Patritti’s largest market for juice and wine, where its Sparkling Dark Grape Juice is its biggest seller. Other notable markets are Europe and the United Kingdom for its wine and India and Sweden for its de-alcoholised wines.
Managing Director Ines Patritti, the daughter of founder Giovanni Patritti, said the wine and juice volumes had grown hand in hand over the years but the sheer volume of sales to Asia had recently given the sparkling juice the edge.
She said packaging it like a sparkling wine and selling it through the wine supply chain, rather than traditional fruit juice channels, had also been a key to its success.
“The way we present it in sparkling wine packaging makes it quite a unique product, as opposed to traditional juice packaging, and a lot of our customers who import the juice also import wine,” Patritti said.
“The juice is about access to fresh Australian fruit products in a bottle — it’s fresh and they love the flavour and colour.
“They love it for celebrations — it’s still got the cork and wire and it pops.”
The Sparkling Dark Grape Juice is made from a blend of red wine grapes and white gordo grapes grown in South Australia’s Riverland wine region. The company’s juice range also includes Sparkling Golden Muscatel Grape Juice, Sparkling Shiraz Grape Juice and Sparkling Apple Juice.
Figures recently released by Wine Australia show the value of global Australian wine exports grew by 4% in the 12 months to June 2019 to $2.86 billion.
More than half of this value — $1.79 billion — was generated by exports from South Australia, the country’s biggest wine-producing state. The latest report showed that China is Australia’s biggest wine customer, buying a record $1.2 billion worth of Australian wine ahead of the US, UK and Canada.
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