Moet-Hennessy, the French producer of luxury wines, liquor and perfumes, will see the fruits of its Australian labor early next year when its Domaine Chandon winery Down Under releases its first sparkling wine.
Domaine Chandon quietly began the small winery in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia, in 1985. Moet-Hennessy said the move was part of its strategy to expand into the Pacific Basin area. In 1984, for example, Domaine Chandon began exporting limited amounts of Chandon sparkling wine to Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and more recently Taiwan. In addition, Japan has long been a solid market for the company's Hennessy cognac and Dior perfumes.
The sparkling wine from Australia will be sold there and in other Pacific Rim countries. The only wine from Domaine Chandon's Australian operation to hit U.S. shores will be an unbubbly Chardonnay named "Quarallia," which means star in aborigine.