We were delighted to have been included in a recent article in the prestigious Meininger’s Wine Business International Magazine. The article, written by Jane Faulkner, was a snapshot of the Australian wine market and focused on Australians burgeoning interest in international wines.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Leading Italian wine importer Maurizio Ugge remembers when cheap Chianti in raffia-covered bottles and even cheaper Lambrusco in 1.5 litre flagons were regarded as the norm on Australian supermarket shelves and bottle shops. There just wasn’t the choice or availability, and, while there were a few stellar names such as Gaja and Sassicaia available, those wines were for the connoisseur.
However, that was the market Milanese-born and Melbourne-based Ugge was dealing with when he set up the wine and spirits division of Arquilla in 1996. Thankfully, that landscape has long gone. Today, Arquilla’s portfolio is regarded as one of the finest and most comprehensive, compromising about 358 beverages from luminaries such as Domenico Clerico, Planeta, Argiolas and Ca’ del Bosco.
There’s no doubt much of Arquilla’s success has been the diversity of its portfolio. “When I started to put the list together, I researched a lot,” says Ugge. “I went to VinItaly, and have done so for about 14 years, because if we were going to be serious about importing Italian wine, we had to be a good player and we needed variety.” While he has several top Piedmontese producers with highly priced and prized Barolo and Barbaresco, Ugge now sells more affordable and better-value wine than ever before.
He says the burgeoning interest in Italian wines, matched with an increase in sales, really began about five or six years ago when varieties such as Sangiovese and Nebbiolo became more obvious in the market, partly because Australian producers were growing them.