International ambassadors drop in to sample SA’s premium wines

30 Apr 2024
A select group of influential wine importers from emerging international markets are visiting South Australia to experience first-hand the State’s premium wine and world-class wine regions.
The four-day visit (28 April to 1 May) will see members of the South Australian Wine Ambassadors Club (SAWAC) – launched in 2022 to support export market diversification – take part in an immersive tour through McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Barossa and Adelaide Hills wine regions. 
More than 100 South Australian producers from across 10 wine regions have seized the opportunity to directly showcase their best drops to the 16 visiting ambassadors as they visit iconic venues including the d’Arenberg Cube, Seppeltsfield and Mt Lofty Ranges Vineyard.
Importers in the program are committed to adding new South Australian wines to their portfolios and act as global advocates and ambassadors for the State’s wine sector. 
In its first 18 months, the program has already helped 51 South Australian brands break into six new markets, generating more than $1.37 million in local sales.
Last year’s inaugural SAWAC visit directly resulted in 23 new-to-market brands connecting with overseas markets, and a total first order value of more than $350,000.
This year’s visit will welcome ambassadors from Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, as well as members from new Chapters in Vietnam and India, added to the program for year two.
The addition of SAWAC ambassadors from Vietnam and India has the potential to unlock new opportunities to capitalise on the growing wine markets in those countries, which are valued at $8.2 million and $9.7 million, respectively.
After attending a major international wine trade event in India last year with the Department for Trade and Investment, SAWAC participant Haselgrove Wines is excited about the opportunities ahead. 
SAWAC is the flagship initiative of the South Australian Government’s Wine Export Diversification Program launched in July 2021 to support producers to diversify into new markets and grow exports of premium South Australian wine. The Program has delivered $17.1 million in export outcomes since inception.
SAWAC consists of 42 importers from seven countries in the Indo-Pacific who are actively responsible for raising the global profile of South Australian wine in key overseas markets and driving commercial outcomes. The program also showcases South Australia’s world-class wine at events and masterclasses and on retailers' shelves overseas.
The program aims to recruit another group of Ambassadors in August 2024, with potential to expand into new markets in the Indo-Pacific region.