Winemaker Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) wants federal and state government support to help rebuild Australia's reputation as a supplier of quality wine.
TWE chief executive David Dearie says the strength of the Australian dollar is making it hard to compete at more commercial and popular price points against wines from other countries.
Also, Australia's reputation as a supplier of quality regional wines had been "dumbed down" to the point that Australian wine was considered to be a commodity-style wine in many markets.
Consequently, Australian wines were not competing effectively enough against wines from Chile, New Zealand, Argentina and France.
Mr Dearie said more investment was needed to revitalise `brand Australia'.
"I urge politicians of all political persuasions to consider additional funding to support those serious wine companies like TWE who do so much to showcase Australian wines internationally, to drive regional tourism and provide much-needed regional and rural employment," Mr Dearie said on Thursday.
An integrated campaign was needed to showcase Australian wine.
"We've got to spend some money to get that quality message back out there," Mr Dearie said.
TWE's brands include Penfolds, Wolf Blass, Rosemount, Lindeman's and Beringer.
Treasury Wine on Thursday booked a net profit for the six months ended December 31 of $52.3 million, up 30.8 per cent from $40.0 million.
The result was skewed by one-off items in the first half of the current financial year and the prior financial year.
Excluding one-off items and an accounting adjustment for agricultural assets, TWE's first-half net profit fell 23.2 per cent to $45.0 million, from $58.6 million.
TWE's total volume of wine sold fell 2.5 per cent to 16.5 million cases, mainly driven by some discontinued sales in the United Kingdom.
Net sales revenue fell 3.3 per cent to $816.9 million.
The cost of sales rose 3.8 per cent to $606.3 million, reflecting the impact of the weather-affected 2011 vintages in Australia and California.
Mr Dearie said the first half had been challenging, given that costs had risen and TWE had had five per cent less volume of luxury and "masstige" (mass prestige) wines available to allocate to customers and consumers.
But in the second half of the current financial year, there would be 15 per cent more luxury and masstige wines available for sale.
Mr Dearie said the first-half result was also affected by the tough retail environment and fragile consumer confidence.
Shares in TWE were 40 cents higher at $5.30 on Thursday.