A POPULAR wine maturation vessel has taken out the prestigious Wine Industry of Australia supplier of the year export award.
Flextank Ltd, which sells unique polymer vessels that are used as an alternative to oak barrels, has enjoyed a spike in international exports throughout the past three years.
International sale in the 12 months to September 30 topped $500,000 and managing director Peter Steer is confident exports will increase by another more than 50 per cent in the coming 12 months.
The US purchased the most Flextanks with 40 per cent of total international sales while 27.3 per cent of sales went to France and 25 per cent went to South Africa.
"We have been able to take advantage of the fact that the US economy has been in recession," Mr Steer said.
" This has opened the door for us because cost pressures are always the driver of wineries taking an active interest in our cubes.
"So the company’s major focus is on developing the American market, and the fact that Flextank has been there long enough now to have convinced wineries of the cost savings available from our product, have given us strong early traction in the US.
"Europe is in recession, so we have the same economic opportunity in Europe as we have had in the US."
Hundreds of wineries across Australia use Flextanks which utilise a special polymer that allows a controlled amount of oxygen into the tanks, similar to how oxygen enters oak barrels.
The tanks are cost effective and are able to impart flavours, tannins and aromas.
Oak staves are put into the tanks for winemakers looking for an oaky flavour to their wines.