Labor opens cellar door

Christine McGinn | Bendigo Weekly | 24-Nov-2014

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and industry leaders promote our finest drops.
Labor wants to showcase regional Victoria’s wineries’ finest drops under a $1 million election promise.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan announced the planned funding at Balgownie Estate in Maiden Gully this week.

Labor wants to increase cellar door visits and grow international markets with a Victorian Wine Tourism Strategy.

“We want to work with the wine industry because we understand it is an important part  of regional communities and supporting local jobs,’ Ms Allan said.

“Regional Victoria is home to the best wine in Australia. We want to promote that to the rest of the world. There is huge potential in the export market and that’s why we will be spending much more on promoting Victorian wine to the rest of the world.”

Ms Allan said the strategy would help boost tourism and local jobs to bolster the industry.

The funding, provided over four years, would also establish a Ministerial Wine Industry Advisory Group.

Wine Victoria chair Damien Sheehan said the region had been fighting to secure its position on the international stage.

“This funding is critical for our industry. For the last decade, there has been a decline in profitability for Victorian wineries due to several factors including high exchange rate, oversupply, retail,” he said.

“Victoria’s wine lays mainly in the premium sector which moves the fastest as well when looking at international and domestic sales.

“We are uniquely placed and really need to capitalise on that. We are really not getting our message out there and where it needs to be, front and centre.”

The Federal Government recently signed free-trade agreements with Japan and China, improving access to Asian markets.

Bendigo Winegrowers Association Bill Blamires said there were  about 45 producers in Greater Bendigo.

“The industry in Bendigo is set up as a lot of local producers, growing grapes, producing wine and selling wine. There is such a great offering here,” he said.

Mr Sheehan said Victoria produced a vast range of quality wines, surpassing the limited range of other states.


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