Wine boom to send labels soaring

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Label printers working for the wine sector are raising their glasses in expectations of bumper orders, following a record year on the vines.

Celebrating: wine labels set to surge
Celebrating: wine labels set to surge

Some two million tonnes of grapes have been crushed in the nation’s wineries in the last 12 months, representing a 31 per cent growth over last year, with conditions said to have been near perfect.

South Australia remains the biggest wine region in the country, producing 52 per cent of the grape, with NSW at 29 per cent and Victoria at 17 per cent. All three saw strong growth.

The record breaking harvest topped the previous best - 1.9 million tonnes crushed in 2005. While Australia has lost its Chinese market, which was its biggest export country, it is working hard to expand its other markets, notably the US and UK.

Wine labels represent a significant market for local printers, especialy in the high value labels.

The local label printing industry itself saw major changes two weeks ago, when Multi-Color Corp (MCC) paid a reported $381m for the Hexagon Group, which in Australia included Hally Labels and Label Partners. A week later, MCC was itself bought by a private equity fund, which will marry it with a huge US label outfit to create a $3bn a year business. Hexagon, as it was, bought SA-based Label Partners in February to give it a foothold in the SA wine market.

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