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The last couple of years has seen the Australian wine industry in some serious disarray with some of the giants - notably Southcorp and BRL Hardy seeing their profitability and margins eroded by insane international discounting to keep their share of increasingly tight markets. The UK supermarkets and multiples are serious culprits in this discounting spree, forcing their Australian suppliers to reduce prices to ridiculously low levels to achieve the correct price-point or even a listing at all. The Australian wine industry has been a victim of its own success and as more and more of the small and medium-sized players have been gobbled up by the bigger companies, there has been a sea-change in the industry's dynamics.
There are fewer and fewer mid-size, family operators - with the obvious exceptions of the likes of Brown Brothers and Tyrrells as they are being squeezed out of the market by the multinationals. At the same time, some of the more boutique-style producers are finding it equally hard to compete, although their quirkiness and individuality must ensure continued success. It is to these family firms and artisan-craftsmen that we turn to for the majority of our very extensive Australian selection.