In a recent article published in The Times and referring in particular to the wines of Australia and South Africa, Mr. D. F. Cranston observes that the United Kingdom offers abundant opportunities to the Australian wine‐growers if they are prepared to co‐operate and pursue a courageous policy. As regards soil and climate Australia is potentially a more prolific wine‐producing country than France. Britain is the only market the Australian growers can hope to cultivate on a sufficiently large scale, and their main difficulty here is that the British people naturally tend to regard wine as the exclusive property of France, Portugal, and Spain. The Australian growers do not dispel this impression by making use of European “titles of origin” for their labels. The fact is that Australian burgundy is being sold as a substitute for the French wine, and a substitute cannot hope to supersede the article it imitates. The Australian wine may partake of the burgundy characteristics, but it is also essentially Australian, and if it were sold under a distinctive title it would soon find a public of its own, and the growers would have no difficulty in placing their agencies here. Another point worth indicating is that the public here is essentially spirit‐drinking even in its wines. Port carries all before it to‐day; yesterday it was sherry, which now takes second place in the public's favour; and Madeira would also have had its day if only it could be produced in sufficient quantities. It is useless for the Australians to clamour for the “ port label.” The trade here, backed by the Anglo‐Portuguese Treaty, is too strong. But there would be a market in England for a distinctive Australian wine of the class mentioned. The falling franc and the rising cost of the French wines also makes the market more favourably disposed to the Australian growers. The consumption of Australian wines here has shown a substantial improvement on the past three years, though the total quantity sold over the last 12 months only amounted to 52,726 gallons. Imports have been heavier lately. Last year's Australian vintage was a record.
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