The collective 12 represent Australian regions across four states, together they own more than 5,500 hectares of vineyards.
The inaugural members of the AFFW are: Brown Brothers (Victoria); Campbells (Victoria); d’Arenberg (South Australia); De Bortoli (NSW); Henschke (South Australia); Howard Park (Western Australia); Jim Barry (South Australia); McWilliam’s (NSW); Tahbilk (Victoria); Taylors (South Australia); Tyrrell’s (NSW); Yalumba (South Australia).
The AFFW will work to engage consumers, retailers, restaurateurs and industry members across the globe about the real character and characters of Australian wine.
The inaugural Chairman of the AFFW is Alister Purbrick of Victorian winery Tahbilk.
He said: “While as family winemakers we all value our independence, we do share a common vision - that Australian wine can take on the world’s best and win.
“If there is a collective of families anywhere in the world combining such character, such heritage, such personality and such great wine as this one we have yet to see it and we doubt we will.”
Purbrick and his colleagues have been working behind the scenes on the creation of the AFFW for more than three years.
He said: “Although the Australian wine industry has achieved great success over many years and continues to dominate the UK wine market as the number one wine importer, the AFFW recognises the need to continually evolve and keep ahead of our competitors.
“The wine industry’s exports to the UK and US are declining in overall value and price per litre. Competing purely on price is not sustainable and is not a long-term competitive advantage.”
Paul Henry, general manager market development, AWBC, believes the initiative is positive for the wineries involved and for the category.
“These companies can tell a compelling and authentic story which can only be derived as uniquely Australian,” Henry said.
The AFFW will pursue their individual business goals with the shared purpose of being a part of a strong collective. The group will gather together on occasions throughout the world to show the spirit of Australian winemaking.
The new AFFW logo will adorn selected bottles of each winery’s best known wines and the group plans to launch into the European market in May 2010.