The head of an Orange winery has forecast sales will double in the next five years thanks to an export drive and further developing its cellar door operations.
Philip Shaw Wines chief executive officer Damian Shaw said there was major potential for growth among Orange region wineries.
“I’d see a massive opportunity for growth for the region,” he said.
“Within five years [our] sales will double and with that will come more jobs.”
Mr Shaw was commenting after a new report by Wine Australia revealed that small wineries, those crushing up to 500 tonnes, had great potential for growth by connecting to increasing demand locally and overseas.
All wineries in the Orange region, except for Tamburlaine Organic Wines and Cumulus Estate Wines, are considered to be small wineries.
The report found that small wineries across Australia contributed eight per cent of the total amount of wine crushed, had sales totalling $1.3 billion and accounted for 35 per cent of domestic sales value and 10 per cent of export sales value.
“For the second year in a row, small winemakers reported strong growth in revenue and production across all sales channels,” it said.
“Revenue grew on average by 10 per cent in 2016-17.”
The report found 73 per cent of small wineries enjoyed growth.
“Small winemakers see the main opportunities for the next five years being in export markets and cellar door tourism.”
It said many were diversifying their cellar door operation with tourism activities.
“This appears to be a successful strategy as cellar door was the fastest growing channel in 2016-17.”
It said there would be increased retail opportunities for small wineries through the arrival of overseas retail chains including Lidl, Amazon, Kaufland and Aldi.
However, Mr Shaw said they were not looking to be involved in these retail stores.
“Cellar door is a massive focus for us and you can see the investment we have made.
“The east coast of Australia and predominantly restaurants is where [we concentrate].
“We are concentrating on not necessarily making more wine but better wine.”
He said exports accounted for 30 per cent of the winery’s business.
That currently includes northern Europe and Asia but he expected to expand into the US, Canadian and Japanese markets.