By coincidence or design, it's hard to tell, two Australian winemakers in back-to-back visits last week had the same points to make when I asked them about how things were going for them in regard to selling their wines in the U.S. Although they still encounter some resistance, retailers and restaurant wine buyers at least are willing to taste their products and, when they do, they have the same reaction.
"They say, ‘These don't taste like Australian wines,'" said Kym Tolley, whose Penley Estate wines from Coonawarra aims for lean textures and a narrow beam of intensity.
"These taste like European wines. I hear that a lot," said Paul Smith, winemaker at Wirra Wirra in McLaren Vale. "To me, they taste like good McLaren Vale wines, but if [buyers] like the style because it feels European to them, maybe that's a good thing. We make a lot of wines like these in Australia."
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