N February drinks specialist John Harper set up the first Australian wine
importing company in the country and according to Harper: "Business is booming."
He says: "Australian Valley Wine's system of direct distribution,
marketing and promotion has established our products in a Cambodian market
previously dominated by French wine.
"The wines we distribute include
Pheasant Gully table wine, Hanwood Cabernet Sauvignon and the Vintage Mount
Pleasant Elizabeth 1988 which last year won Australia's highest wine award.
Prices range from $5-10 wholesale."
Harper says: "Repeat sales are the
key to success and despite having only 20 percent of shelf space in some stores
we outsell everyone else.
"The company's style of dealing directly with
suppliers and retailers on a one-to-one basis and giving them advice on displays
and pricing is helping us achieve repeat sales.
He said holding wine
tasting promotions and remaining a strictly wholesale supplier is helping the
company to expand.
"Our products are represented in the newly established
supermarkets, most leading restaurants and hotels, and a select number of
The company is currently holding an Australian food
and wine festival at Cafe No Problem until July 5 where emu, kangaroo and
crocodile will supplement the wine.
He said the company's most popular
lines are champagnes and red wines which appeal to Khmers because they are
associated with strength.
Harper says while Australian wines do not
match the range of French wines they do travel well and are suitable for hotter
"Australian wines stand up to 12 months in these conditions so
a customer can buy with confidence."
Harper, who runs the company
together with fellow Australian Andrew Maxwell, says they plan to soon import
Berri fruit juices, flavored milk, Bundaberg Rum and Lionheart Cider from
Before Harper began the company he helped renovate Angkor
Beer's brewery in Kompong Som.