Increasingly, entire industry sectors and individual firms are re-orienting their business strategies to align with the demands of rapid globalization. Sustainable export mechanisms are becoming an integral component of these strategies. Small, medium and large firms are focusing more than ever on marketing goals, branding, distribution channels and production quality in order to address the growing opportunities and challenges of this globalization. An industry in which firms are responding effectively to these opportunities and challenges is the Australian wine industry. In terms of export growth, intensity, diversity and sustainability, this industry is increasingly seen as a template for others. Using empirical data derived from a survey and in-depth interviews with Australian wine SMEs this article attempts to provide a set of characteristics common to successful exporters. Such characteristics, based on core export indicators and management attributes may help to provide lessons for firms in general and wine firms in particular.