Demarcation: a dynamic methodology for quality grading within the Australian wine industry

Inderscience Publishers
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Quality and Innovation, 2012, 2 (1), pp. 18 - 36
Issue Date:
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Formal wine quality ranking has largely been a European phenomenon. While various publications and critics within new world wine industries conduct regular ranking exercises for wine taste or winery processes, these exercises usually target specific quality or taste elements, are often not particularly transparent, and are not comprehensive. In Australia, the lack of a comprehensive ranking system is not simply an oversight. Wine associations have directed the industry along very different pathways from those laid out by their more traditional European peers. There has been a much greater emphasis on the role of the winemaker and technological experimentation, and a more egalitarian, generic branding regime. Until very recently, little value has been placed on factors such as terroir, heritage, regional characteristics, or appropriate and specialised vineyard management. The author believes that the lack of a formalised and comprehensive quality ranking system for Australian wine is a deficiency that is now undermining the industry's reputation both at home and abroad. The following paper provides the context for, and justification of, what is proposed as a dynamic, transparent, and multicategory wine ranking matrix.
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