High-value niche production: what Australian wineries might learn from a Bordeaux first growth

Publisher:
Inderscience Publishers
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Technology, Policy and Ma..., 2009, 9 (4), pp. 342 - 357
Issue Date:
2009-01
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High-value niche production is reserved for the market's peak pricepoints. At these levels, rules of supply and demand change configuration. Manufacturers no longer compete on price, but instead are gauged against quality, uniqueness, reliability and prestige. As a result, their products are largely immune to economic fluctuations and offer alternative, often lucrative strategies for individuals and industry sectors as a whole. A sector in which the financial/cultural contrast between niche and mass production techniques is stark is the global wine industry. This paper examines the contrast by focusing on the Australian wine industry as a mass producer. The authors explore the current economic malaise of the industry and highlight associations between deteriorating product value and organisational structures. They then draw upon examples from one of the worlds iconic wine producers - Chateau Haut-Brion - to provide tangible and symbolic templates of successful niche production. The outcomes are recommendations for reform among Australian wine producers and their governing organisations.
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