No Australia Day Tasting in 2013
Instead the generic body will offer a smaller themed tasting every other year.
The change comes as Wine Australia announced a radical shake-up of its funding structure - from July, members will pay to participate in specific events, over and above government-funded core activity.
Speaking exclusively to Harpers, European director of Wine Australia, Yvonne May, said the change to the annual tasting plan was mooted at its AGM. "The two-year cycle will give producers a chance to plan better around the event," she added.
Mark Wilson, UK general manager for DeBortoli Wines, said the Australia Day tasting had "probably outgrown its relevance by about three to four years". He said the change would encourage more "varietal or regional tastings", rather than one catch-all event. What's more, he said the move to a biennial tasting would create a "drip-drip" effect - and allow winemakers to be more effective in their visits to market, rather than all landing at the same time.
For more comment on the changes at Wine Australia, see this week's issue of Harpers.