One of the toughest things (and I am not complaining really) is that with Australia being such a young and interesting market for Italian wines, there are still so many producers that are not imported into Australia.
Take a pick from any region and there are still up-and-coming wineries that deserve to have their wines shown in Australia plus those already well established around the world. We have been able to pick up producers like Salvatore Moliettieri from Campania, Roagna from Barbaresco, Castello Monsanto from Tuscany and Passopisciaro from Mount Etna in Sicily just to name a few. These are wineries I think that are as good as any from those regions that were previously imported into Australia.
This is not to say that the importers that have been importing Italian into Australia were not doing a good job. The opposite. Nearly all the importers of Italian wine in Australia that have been importing long term have done an unbelievable job in building the ‘love’ of Italian wine in Australia. As an importer, I owe what I do to these importers. Without them, the reputation of Italian wine in Australia (from the wines and wineries they import) would not be as high as it is today.
If I had to pick one region which has probably been ‘fished out’ then maybe only Tuscany would come to mind. Even in the Langhe where some of the greatest wines of the world are made each year, there is still plenty of amazing producers not imported. You could pick up ten producers of Barolo and Barbaresco and still have room for more. So when do you shut up shop and say I have enough?
For a mid sized company that primarily focuses on the South and parts of the North of Italy, we thought representing twenty wineries was more than enough. Well with the addition of Il Palazzone in Montalcino mid this year and Il Fatalone from Puglia next year we will break our ‘twenty winery’ rule. Sometimes when something so good comes along, you just can’t pass it up. Hopefully though our portfolio will stay around this size for a few more years and allow us to keep building the names of the wineries we represent in Australia. This is our aim and I think in the last five years we have achieved our aim.