WineDepot helps struggling wineries

With alarming reports that one-third of Australian wineries could go under from COVID-19 closures, WineDepot is throwing a lifeline to struggling wineries as they quickly pivot to online direct-to-consumer sales.

Australia’s 6,000 grape growers and 2,500 winemakers have been hit hard this year by bushfires, smoke taint and the lowest yield in seven years. On top of this, COVID-19 has had a negative impact on export markets, trade distribution, and cellar doors.

In response to these challenges, WineDepot has announced that it will be providing wine producers a support package of subsidised services to help them maximise their ability to trade during this challenging time.

“Never before have Australian wine producers faced a challenge like this,” said WineDepot founder and CEO Dean Taylor. “The silver lining is that consumers across the country are rushing to order wine and other essentials online for home delivery.”

This has certainly been true for Tasmania’s Josef Chromy Wines, who has been working with WineDepot to maintain strong sales during covid-19 closures.

“We saw a little bit of panic buying happening, particularly when the alcohol limitations started in some states,” said company spokesperson Amy Russell.

Other wineries, however have been slow off the mark. “We know of smaller producers who aren’t selling online and all of a sudden find themselves with no outlets at all.”

To support as many wineries as possible from going under, WineDepot is offering a support package that allows them to maximise their margins from online sales during this once-in-a-100-year event.

“Our platform allows wineries in regional areas to provide a fulfillment service that competes with that offered by the major retailers. With physical depots in each state of Australia, we manage everything so that a winery in Tasmania like Josef Chromy, can deliver the same or next day to customers in Sydney or any other capital city in Australia,” said Taylor.

WineDepot Cellar Door Support Package is valued at over $5,000 per winery and includes the following benefits:

  • $500 free credit
  • 3 months free storage
  • Free initial stock transfer into bulk storage
  • Delivery from just $7.95/case for metro areas
  • Waived platform access, set up and integration charges, usually $995

This is available to all Australian owned and operated wineries, who establish an account and move inventory in before the end of April, with no lock-in contracts or requirements to continue using WineDepot services after the free storage period ends.

“Partnering with WineDepot means we’ve avoided quite a few overheads,” said Russell. “Sitting down here on an island, we have additional challenges trying to get freight off Tasmania, especially at critical times like Cyber Monday and Christmas. Now we have that little bit of an edge in terms of already having stock in market that we can quickly dispatch and distribute.”

The direct-to-consumer sales market is estimated to be worth over $1 billion per annum and employs tens of thousands of people around the country. WineDepot hopes to also help protect this source of jobs, revenue and amenity in regional areas.


Non-alcoholic wine market set to expand

Surpassing a valuation of more than US$ 10 billion, the non-alcoholic wine market is projected to grow at an impressive CAGR of over 7 per cent during the forecast period. The beverage industry is undergoing a transformation with the rise of ‘healthier’ categories of non-alcoholic beverage variants such as non-alcoholic wine. Compared to traditional wine, low and non-alcoholic wine is soaring on popularity owing to the development of non-alcoholic wine which has more flavor, depth and sophistication and caters to a large segment of the population. Consumption of non-alcoholic wine and other beverages is increasingly becoming one of the mainstream trends which is shaping the global beverage industry. The convergence of these patterns is underpinning the exponential growth for the non-alcoholic wine market over the forecast period.

Key Takeaways of Non-Alcoholic Wine Market Study

  • Europe leads the non-alcoholic wine market, holding shares more than 40 per cent in 2018. The wine markets in Europe are well established with Italy and France having the highest per capita consumption of over 35 liters per person per year.
  • Although volume and value growth are modest in Europe, North America is anticipated to be the most important non-alcoholic wine market in the world with a growth rate of over 8 per cent.
  • In 2018, the alcohol-free segment comprised more than 50 per cent of the total share of the industry. Increasing adoption of these products as a form of sports drink has enhanced industry growth, especially among athletes.
  • Supermarkets represented more than 20 per cent of the total beer market. With several innovative ways to boost consumer spending on non-alcoholic wines, supermarket chains are thriving on increasing sales.
  • The online stores segment is projected to grow at the highest growth rate of over 9 per cent between 2019 and 2027. Inclination under the category of non-alcoholic wine to e-commerce and e-tailing is bringing about shifts in customer buying experience.

Good Pair Days offers compostable/ biodegradeable packaging

As the movement for sustainability continues unabated, more wine producers are moving towards farming and wine-making that is both good for the earth and marketable.

To support this industry growth and further the journey towards sustainability, Good Pair Days has taken the opportunity to redesign its packaging, removing all plastic.

Good Pair Days went on journey to come up with an innovative way to package wine, ending with the sugarcane plant, which is the world’s largest crop by production quantity, with over 2 billion tonnes produced annually.

After all the sucrose is extracted from the plant, producers are left with waste. Good Pair Days now repurposes that waste to give customer’s wines a protective bed to lie in when shipped to them each month.

Its new inserts offer protection to the wine. However, a  new insert alone wasn’t enough. Good Pair Days took the time to redesign their cartons, integrating a handle into the packaging structure to remove the use of plastics. This little change means a lot. All packaging can now be either recycled (in the case of its cardboard cartons) or composted (like its new inserts.)

No matter what customers do with Good Pair Days boxes, once they are done with them, they go back into the earth.

Non-alcoholic wine and beer market size worth $43bn by 2025

Rising prevalence of coronary diseases and heart related health risks has fueled the non-alcoholic wine and beer market, which has grown exponentially in the past few years along with improving living standards of consumers. Owing to the notable concerns of consuming excess alcohol, worldwide efforts to explore the benefits and production techniques for making alcohol-free or low-alcohol beverages, have escalated. The non-alcoholic wine and beer industry has profited form an incredible shift in preference by millennials and the disease-prone geriatric population, who wish to lower the probability of cardiovascular diseases.

Compared to alcoholic beverages, studies have shown that non-alcoholic beers exhibit boosted anti-oxidants, increased Vitamin B6 and slower blood coagulation, all of which help to prevent heart conditions. Additionally, benefits such as effective stress control and suitable for consumption by pregnant women have highly endorsed the global non-alcoholic wine and beer market.

A major cause of obesity and heart issues is unrestrained consumption of calories from beverages containing high sugar content. Boasting annual earnings of over $23 billion in 2017, the Non-Alcoholic Wine and Beer Market consists of products with significantly less proportion of calories than the alcoholic options. Consequently, a number of institutions and national level events have been promoting less or non-alcoholic beers and wine in their demonstration portfolio to support companies that aim to brew craft beers and non-alcohol containing wines.

Representing the industry penetration of the non-alcoholic wine and beer market, the Great British Beer Festival, happening every year since 1977, has recently confirmed that it will offer alcohol-free beer for the very first time that is produced by a Netherland-based craft brewer, Braxzz. The company sells both low and no-alcohol beers and the festival organizers expressed an interest due to the increasing importance of such products in the market, which has caused the sale of alcoholic drinks to decline.

Referring to 2018 statistics, the U.K. non-alcoholic beverages market grew by more than 15 per cent over the previous two years with health-conscious consumers looking for lower-alcohol content in drinks. Aldi, a major supermarket chain, in July introduced two non-alcoholic wines in response to the upsurge in demand. These wines are said to have less than half of the calories found in other alcoholic wines and are also cheaper. With the presence of several prominent liquor producers and having one of the highest consumption rates, Europe generates huge revenues for the non-alcoholic wine and beer market and registered a demand in the excess of 1 billion litres in 2017. U.K., Germany, Ireland, France and Italy are some of the biggest consumers of alcoholic drinks and the growing intensity of health problems in these countries will encourage the development of the Europe non-alcoholic wine and beer industry.

Non-Alcoholic Wine Market, By Material, 2025, (USD Million)
A number of popular brands such has Carlsberg, Heineken, Bernard Brewery, Erdinger Weibbrau, among others have dominantly stepped into the non-alcoholic wine and beer market. Seeking to capitalize on the swift expansion of the non-alcoholic wine and beer market, the world’s second largest beer producer Heineken has launched a non-alcoholic lager for the Irish market. Beer is the more preferred alcoholic beverage in Ireland having a 46 per cent market share in 2016 and contributed close to $2.7 billion to the country’s economy in the same year. The company claims that the alcohol-free lager, Heineken 0.0, has half the calories of regular beer and taster better than most other products in the category.

As the Heineken 0.0 experiences strong sales in Spain, Netherlands, Russia and many other countries, the non-alcoholic wine and beer market will undergo a significant transformation with other brands also attempting to sell health-friendly low-alcohol beverages through retail stores and ecommerce platforms. Over the past few years, researches have continuously been conducted to compare the effects of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on the human body, primarily inspired by the explosion of cardiac disorders globally. A study performed on 67 men, who had diabetes or displayed three or more risk factors of heart diseases, involved observing the effect of red wine containing alcohol and one without alcohol. Interestingly, when the men drank alcohol-free red wine their blood pressure lowered down to levels which reduce the risk of heart diseases by 14 per cent and chances of stroke by 20 per cent.

Europe Non-Alcoholic Wine and Beer Market, By Product, 2018 & 2025
Global non-alcoholic wine and beer industry are driven by rapid technological development and innovations across the beverage sector. Industrialization and changing consumer lifestyle in the emerging economies of China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brazil has stimulated the demand for the product. Rapid improvisations in the brewery industry for alcohol content reduction including improved membrane-based technologies and vacuum distillation is enhancing the quality of the beverage. Moreover, rising demand for low alcohol content in various alcoholic beverages regarding suitability for occasional & health concerned consumers will foster the product portfolio expansion. Developing economies such as Mexico, India, China, Brazil, and Indonesia will substantially impact the product development owing to a larger customer base coupled with increasing preferences for low and no alcohol beverages.

All in all, the need for healthier drinks with enhanced antioxidants and electrolytes that can be incorporated in daily life has stimulated the non-alcoholic wine and beer industry, accentuated by disorders like liver cirrhosis, CVD and certain cancers that originate from alcohol abuse. Offering an affordable solution for people who want to socialize without consuming alcohol or those who are restricted from drinking alcohol-infused beverages, the non-alcoholic wine and beer market is anticipated to record an impressive 7.6 per cent CAGR from 2018 to 2024.

Wine company achieves 100 per cent renewable electricity

Pernod Ricard Winemakers has become the first large wine company in Australia to achieve 100 per cent renewable electricity. The commitment was achieved ahead of schedule and will ensure that all wines from the iconic Australian wine brands Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and Wyndham Estate will be produced using electricity from renewable sources.

All of Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Australian sites are now using renewable electricity thanks to the completion of Australia’s largest combined winery solar installation and a 10-year agreement to source renewable electricity.

Energy company AGL has installed more than 10,300 solar panels across the company’s two Barossa Valley wineries, with a predicted annual generation of 4,000 megawatt-hours, enough to power the equivalent of nearly 800 South Australian homes.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers has also become the first wine company in South Australia to be connected to both offsite wind and solar farms as a result of a landmark 10-year Virtual Generation Agreement (VGA) with wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power. The agreement means that the remainder of the business’ annual electricity requirements will be met by solar and wind.

Sustainability and responsibility is an important part of Pernod Ricard’s global strategy, with the group recently launching its 2030 sustainability and responsibility roadmap, which sets out eight ambitious goals aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Brett McKinnon, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Chief Operations Officer, said that the completion of the project demonstrates Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ commitment to be a leader in sustainability and responsibility.

“Pernod Ricard Winemakers is excited to be the first large wine company in Australia to produce wine using electricity sourced entirely from renewable sources, well ahead of our initial goal and other large wine companies.

“Being sustainable and responsible is an important part of our business, particularly as producers of wine – a product that takes its character from the land where it was grown. We want to minimise our impact on the communities where we operate, responding to the local climate and preserving the environment for future generations to come.

“Our journey began in 2016 with a pilot solar installation after we recognised that we had a huge opportunity across our wineries to harness the power of the sun through solar panels. Three years later, we are exceptionally proud to say that we are now sourcing all electricity from renewable sources, in alignment with our global ambition,” he said.

Pernod Ricard is the only wine and spirits company globally to be recognised by the United Nations as a Global Compact Lead, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and its Ten Principles for responsible business.


Murray River Organics offer price increases

Murray River Organics has announced up to $200 per tonne increase in prices for third party grower dried fruit as part of their Sunraysia Grower Water Support Package for 2020 Crop.

MRG chief executive Valentina Tripp said given the severe drought conditions in Mildura and the increasing expensive price of temporary water the Company wanted to provide Sunraysia growers with certainty for the coming season.

“We recognise the impact that the ongoing drought and water is having on growers in the Mildura area and as significant grower ourselves we understand the issues they are facing. As a result, at this critical time, we have decided to initially offer up to $200 per tonne on top of last year’s pricing increases to source irrigation water for key in demand varieties. We believe this will deliver much needed confidence to our growers.”

READ MORE: Dried vine fruit industry welcomes funding

Last year Murray River Organics led the industry when the Company increased prices to third party dried vine fruit growers by up to 25 percent as part of its plan to ensure a fair return for fruit commensurate with global pricing trends.

The price increases are part of the “Growing Together” program which has been very successful for MRG, with the intake of third-party grower dried vine fruit reaching 1240 tonnes in 2019, an increase of 15% on 2018.

This was a significant achievement considering the challenging growing conditions in Sunraysia in 2019 with many growers experiencing lower yields of up to 40 per cent.
Valentina Tripp said the current water issues in Mildura are still challenging for the agriculture industry with irrigation water from the Murray costing up to $950 a megalitre nearly double the average price paid last season.

“Encouragingly, demand fundamentals for dried vine fruit remain strong, with the global fruit market experiencing growth in demand.”

MRG is the largest dried vine fruit grower in Sunraysia with over 1000 hectares planted and is part way through a major transformation and turnaround journey. It has identified significant sales growth opportunities in Asia, Europe and the USA.

MRG’s Sunraysia Grower Support Package is open to Sunraysia Dried Vine Fruit Growers who sign up prior to Friday, 29 November 2019.

MRG also commits to hold 2019 pricing for the 2020 Harvest.

Handpicked Wines picks up silverware at wine awards

Handpicked Wines’ has won three trophies at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards recognising its flagship Capella Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula. Handpicked Wines 2017 Capella Vineyard Chardonnay won the Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine, the trophy for Best Chardonnay (class 2017 and older), and the Capella Vineyard took out the Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence. 

Director of Winemaking Peter Dillon said the trophies were a vindication of major efforts to improve the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard in Bittern, near the shores of Western Port, by focussing on soil health and vitality.

“We are seeing the rewards in so many ways – the increased energy in the vineyard is palpable, our wines are better than ever and our staff enjoy a healthy work environment and stimulating and satisfying work.

“I spend at least as much time in the vineyard as in the winery and building a strong teamwork ethic between the winemaking and vineyard teams has been key to our success.”

Karl Roberts has been Vineyard Manager at Capella Vineyard since Handpicked purchased the property in 2013, prior to that he was part of the team that planned and planted the vineyard in 2009.

“We were lucky to inherit Karl’s experience and knowledge of the property,” Dillon said. Roberts still remembers the site was horse paddocks before the vineyard was planted.

“Since our first vintage in 2013 Karl has accepted and grown with every challenge, including further study, new management practices and working cooperatively with the rest of our vineyard and winemaking teams.

“It’s been a privilege to be part of this site for more than 10 years and see it progress. It’s very satisfying to see how our use of organic principles such as inter-row crops and integrated pest management has improved the soil and reduced the need for pesticides and fungicides,” Roberts said.

Research such as soil pit analysis and a heavy emphasis on organics has guided management practices including planting of new clones, making compost teas, composting and mulching, inter-row planting, mechanical weed control, soil improvements and integrated pest management techniques.

Handpicked also owns vineyards in the Yarra Valley, Barossa Valley and Tasmania. Its 2018 Collection Tasmania Pinot Noir also picked up a gold medal at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards, after scooping the pool at the 2019 Royal Hobart Wine Show, where it won trophies for Best Pinot Noir, Best Tasmanian Wine and Best Red Wine.

Gas the key to fledging micro-brewing industry

Craft brewing has taken off in Australia over the past five years. Driven by consumer demand for something a little different outside the main brands. These usually one- or two-person bands are making inroads into traditional markets right across
the country.

From Perth to Sydney, Adelaide to Brisbane, micro-breweries aren’t just putting down roots in the main cities, regional Australia is getting its fair share of beer aficionados, too. Some craft breweries are driven by wanting to be in an industry they love, others believe their unique blend of hops, barley, yeast and malt offer an exquisite taste to a discerning public, while yet others are hoping one of the big breweries will buy them out.

According to a 2018 report by IBIS World, the craft brewery market in Australia is worth about $520 million and is growing at a rate of about six per cent a year. Not only are the brewers themselves excited about the market’s potential, but those providing products and services can also see that the sector offers lucrative opportunities.

As well as the four basic ingredients, there are peripheral – but just as important – constituents that need to be taken into consideration, such as packaging, distribution and gases.

READ MORE: Putting wine on ice – gas’s role in winemaking

Gases are the unseen heroes of a good brew, something that Air Liquide’s Western Australian sales representative, Gavin Lee, is all too aware of. Having a background working at brewing giant Lion, has helped Lee gain momentum in supplying a variety of gases to the large number of micro-breweries popping up on the west coast. And it’s only going to get bigger, according to Lee.

“The micro brewing industry in Western Australia is going gangbusters at the moment,” he said. “There are more than 60 micro-breweries in Western Australia – ranging from Exmouth down to Albany. The majority are in the Perth area.”

Like wine-making, gas plays an important role, from the brewing of the amber fluid, through to it being dispensed at the tap. Oxygen is both the friend and enemy of the brewer. The only time it is necessary is when there is the oxygenation of the wort, which is the liquid extracted from the mashing process that occurs during the brewing of beer. Wort contains the sugars that will be fermented by the brewing yeast to produce alcohol.
“Oxygen and light are the two things brewers don’t like. Dissolved oxygen in beer ruins the taste and flavour,” said Lee.

If gas was a workhorse its name would be carbon dioxide (CO2). It is used extensively to move beer around from one vessel to another, as well as during the bottling process. It has a multitude of uses, and because it is an inert gas it has no effect on the end product. Nitrogen can also be used but CO2 is the preferred option among most brewmasters. CO2 is mainly used in the carbonation process, giving the beer its fizz at the point of bottling, canning or kegging.

“When using it in the bottling process there is tank inerting,” said Lee. “Currently, if the brewer has the brew in the tank and there is a bit of head space in that vessel, they can pump CO2 on top of that beer so it blankets the surface, and that provides a protective layer for the beer, or they can use nitrogen.”

And when it comes to setting up the delivery mechanisms for the gases, Air Liquide has that covered, too. There are two main options.

“Typically we like to use copper piping because it won’t leak and it won’t corrode and can last for a very long time,” said Lee. “Or you can use food-grade nylon, which is a cheaper option, but over time it does have a tendency to spring a leak because it is under pressure.
“We have engineers and an installation team that are very experienced. We swapped out a vessel, down at Little Creatures in Freemantle, which had been there for the past 18 years.
“We swapped out to a 10-tonne vessel and within a couple of hours they were back in full operation without any down time.”

Another growing part of the company’s business is providing mixed gases for the dispensing of beverages in hotels and pubs throughout the state.

“It is often a mixed combination of CO2 and nitrogen,” said Lee. “It is the gas that pumps the beer through to the glass. As with the brewing process, it is inert so doesn’t affect the quality or the taste of the beer.”

Another reason Lee believes Air Liquide is making inroads into the market is that it supports the industry in other ways other than just providing gases.

“Air Liquide supports WABA – the Western Australian Brewing Association,” he said. “We try and support a lot of the brewers who start a business. Although some would argue gas is a small part of the process, it is a very important part. We offer cost-effective safe solutions and are able to provide the right product, at the right time and the right price,” he said.

“We’ve got fantastic aftersales service and logistics solutions to provide any type of gas delivery – whether it be in cylinders, skid tanks, mini-bulk or bulk vessels. All ALIGAL products we supply to breweries and wineries are of food-grade quality and our CO2 is FSSC 22000-certified, guaranteeing maximum quality and food safety.”

The right brew for beverage and distillery flooring

The craft beer and distillery market in Australia is worth in excess of $4 billion and growing. Although currently dominated by North American brands, more exciting new craft brewers and distilleries are setting up rapidly throughout the country, with up to 600 brands now being available.

The Independent Brewers Association (IBA) estimates that there will be double-digit growth of 24.2 per cent for local craft beer through the liquor stores over the next 12 months, proving Australia has a growing appetite for quality beer and spirits. Wealthy investors and bankers also view the market as a key opportunity with the likes of Gerry Harvey recently investing $20 million to build Australia’s largest whisky company.

Similar to the building and construction of a winery, breweries and distilleries have parallel challenges in getting the floor coating just right.

The brewing process is subject to constant wear and tear and spills. This is driven by steam and boiling water creating a large swing in temperatures that the flooring needs to withstand. Following on from the production process, forklifts and pallet jacks are used to transport ingredients and finished brews to delivery trucks. This constant traffic movement can cause the floor to crack and peel and result in dangerous trip hazards, as well as a build-up in bacteria. A seamless heavy-duty, non-slip epoxy floor from a company like Roxset Health and Safety Flooring will protect from accidents and inhibit growth of bacteria and provide ease of cleaning.

READ MORE: Flooring meets strict food code requirements

Another key consideration with the final coating is erosion. Sugar solutions used in wine making and brewing rapidly erode concrete, which can leave the surface pitted and damaged resulting in expensive downtime and repairs. It also creates a hazardous working environment for workers.

Breweries, distilleries and wineries have a lot of rules and regulations they are required to follow, not just in terms of how they run overall, but their set-up, too.

Important requirements they must meet include:
• A brewery floor needs to be made of non-porous material, with no cracks and gaps.
• Flooring must have anti-microbial properties to prevent collection of bacteria and other harmful organisms and meet HACCP Compliance.
• Floor coating must be moisture and chemical resistant and not degrade quickly due to repeated exposure.
• Floor coating must work well in both wet and dry conditions.
• Floor coating should be non-slip and have low environmental impact.

The SE Floor Coating Solution from Roxset is a specialised tailored system to suit high impact wet areas for the food and beverage industry. Key clients over the past 30 years include, Ned’s Whisky, Capital Brewing, Vasse Felix Winery and Voyager Estate.

For consumers, breweries and distilleries are a cool place to hang out and see how the beverage is made and to sample offerings. But what they do not realise is the level of detail, which goes into every choice made. From the brewing of equipment to the flooring, everything needs careful consideration.

Roxset has the expertise and history to make sure all hygienic and safety concerns are met in distilleries, wineries and breweries. It works with clients so it can find a solution that will mean the floor surface meets strict Australian standards and makes for a safe and healthy workplace for employees.

WineDepot – new partnership with Australian Post and Digitial Wine Ventures

Digital Wine Ventures has announced that it has partnered with Australia Post to help launch WineDepot, a vertically integrated trading and logistics platform aimed at servicing Australia’s multi-billion-dollar wine industry.

Catering for producers, distributors, importers and retailers of all sizes, the platform will allow orders to be fulfilled from inventory reserves held in “depots” servicing key markets – reducing delivery times, freight costs and the opportunity for breakages.

Under the agreement, WineDepot will establish its first four “depots” within Australia Post’s existing distribution centers located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

Digital Wine Ventures CEO, Dean Taylor explains, “Each depot will hold a  broad range of suppliers inventory on consignment, which can be accessed by a range of sales channels. As orders are processed through our platform they are routed to the depot closest to the delivery address where they are picked, packed (by bottle or case) and drop-shipped to the end customer. Depots are then automatically replenished on a bi-weekly basis from WineDepot’s regional bulk storage facilities on behalf of suppliers.

“Being located within Australia Post’s distribution centres will allow orders to flow directly into Fulfilio, Australia Posts fulfillment system, avoiding the typical need for collection, transfer and sortation. This further reduces handling, costs and delivery times.

“With the arrival of Amazon, every Australian consumer will soon expect fast and free delivery. Any business not offering the same will simply lose market share. WineDepot will provide the wine industry the infrastructure to allow that calibre of service level to be provided viably” said Taylor.

Paul Hersbach, head of growth products at Australia Post is positive about the partnership and sees the potential for WineDepot to transform the existing wine supply chain.
“Australia Post is always looking for ways to support Australian businesses, particularly those in regional areas where most wineries are located. As wine is heavy, bulky and fragile, shipping one case at a time from regional areas to consumers in major cities drives higher costs and increases risk of damage to consumer product. WineDepot’s model will address many of these limitations and provide a much improved overall customer experience.

“Our partnership with WineDepot provides the wine industry with a specialised distribution service that will not only save money but also improve the consumer delivery experience. We believe that it will help many wine businesses increase their online sales as they place their inventory closer to end consumers and offer same day evening delivery as a standard service,” said Hersbach.

“It’s why the Growth Products Team at Australia Post was excited to get behind the WineDepot project when it was first presented to us” concluded Hersbach.

Taylor is also excited about the opportunity.

“The partnership with Australia Post greatly reduces our initial capital requirements and allows us to roll out our first four Australian depots by the end of this year well ahead of our original schedule.,” he said. “That’s a massive saving in both time and capital expenditure that will allow us to start looking at ways to expand the platform into other markets such as China, UK, Singapore, New Zealand and USA, as early as next year.”

Taylor expects WineDepot will leverage the learnings from the Australia Post partnership to
establish a working model that they can use in other countries.

“Australia produces $6 billion of wine each year. However it’s just a small part of the $300+ billion global wine market. We believe that our platform has the potential to release an enormous amount of value not just here but globally. Partnering with existing carriers and or 3PL logistics companies like we have with Australia Post in other key wine markets makes a lot of sense.

“There is no point in rebuilding infrastructure that already exists. Our role is to just make it more efficient by providing a technology platform that connects the key stakeholders,” said Taylor.

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Export grants help South Australian wines go global

Wine companies have taken advantage of the latest round of South Australian export grants to solidify their sales across the globe.

More than a dozen South Australian wine companies were among the businesses to use the South Australian Export Accelerator (SAEA) program to help them market and sell their products overseas.

Through the program, businesses shared in more than $544,000, which allowed recipients to participate in international trade shows and business missions, produce marketing collateral, conduct market research, ecommerce development and undertake export training and consultation.

The 27 recipients covered a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, IT and life sciences, but it was South Australia’s wine industry that won the majority of funding.

South Australia is a major wine exporter and is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s total annual production and about 75 per cent of its premium wine.

According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, Australia was the world’s fifth largest wine-producing nation in 2017 behind Italy, France, Spain and the United States.

Among the wine companies to receive a grant were Bull and Bull, Alliance Wine Australia, Elderton Wines, Penley Estate, Massena and Portia Valley Wines.

Bull and Bull owner Rob Turnbull said the funding allowed the company to cement their relationship with partners in China.

“Australia is our largest total sales market but certainly China as an export market is our number one for value and volume,” he said.

“The Chinese market is so mature now. It used to be that you find a distributor and they buy truckloads of your stuff and you’re happy. Now you really have to be very clever in which segments you pick and how you go to market with those segments.”

Turnbull founded Bull and Bull almost three years ago with a mind to exporting wines from regions such as the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Coonawarra.

He said differentiating Bull and Bull as a legitimate player in the Chinese market had been his greatest hurdle.

But Turnbull was tackling this challenge by trying to develop a long-term customer base in China through meetings and clever marketing.

“We’re not looking at high volume, we’re looking at high value across China. We’re not looking for one distributor. It really is a mishmash of different customers and different channels.”

While Bull and Bull were looking to further establish themselves in Asia, Penley Estate finance and distribution manager Kathryn Shaw said the McLaren Vale-based business had used the opportunity to continue expanding their overseas distribution.

Penley Estate exports wines to 17 countries and would like to add Japan and India to the list.

“We’re strategically trying to shift our strategy from 60 per cent domestic and 40 per cent export to 60 export and 40 per cent domestic,” Shaw said.

In a bid to increase overseas sales, in 2016 Penley Estate appointed new winemaker Kate Goodman. The business also rebranded.

Subsequently, Goodman was named Winemaker of the Year at the Australian Women in Wine Awards and Penley Estate doubled its wine sales.

Applications for the next round of SAEA open on Monday (July 1, 2019).

Oldest city vineyard defies urban squeeze to produce top drop

A city-based winery in South Australia has renewed its agreement to produce wine from the world’s oldest commercial urban vineyard.

Planted in 1907, the 1-hectare Marion Vineyard is surrounded by housing and a public swimming pool in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, a city of 1.4 million people.

But its grapes are not feeling the squeeze of city living with the past four vintages of the Patritti Marion Vineyard Grenache Shiraz awarded 96 of a possible 100 points by Australia’s leading wine critic James Halliday.

Established in 1926, Patritti Wines is the last remaining family-owned suburban winery in Adelaide. It is about 4km south of the council-owned Marion Vineyard, which it has managed since 2006.

The vineyard produces around 3000 bottles of the grenache shiraz blend each year. About 1000 litres of fortified wine has also been produced from fruit grown on the block each year since 2006 but this is unlikely to be released until it has been aged for 15 years and reaches ‘rare’ status.

“We’ve been very fortunate to work with a council that’s committed keeping the site and understanding its heritage value but it’s a labour of love,” says Patritti’s managing director Ines Patritti.

“We’re delighted to be part of its journey and it’s also lovely to see how the community has come on board with it – they are very much the vineyard protectors and they let us know when people are in there for any reason.

Since managing the vineyard, Patritti’s winemakers, James Mungall and Ben Heide have passionately worked with projects manager Matthew Mungall to reinvigorate old grenache and shiraz vines, improving the quality of fruit they produce.

The Marion Vineyard is one of only a few commercial urban vineyards left in the world and is claimed to be the oldest as South Australia was one of the few wine producing areas not to be affected by the global phylloxera outbreak that ravaged vineyards around the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Patritti recently won the tender to manage the vineyard for another five years.

Under this latest agreement, viticulturists from its two McLaren Vale vineyards will also take on the management of two other local vineyards on land owned by the City of Marion. The first is about 0.6ha (1.5 acres) behind the Oaklands Wetland and is planted with bush vine Muscat grapes while the second vineyard is in an area known as Laffer’s Triangle and contains about 0.4ha (1 acre) of Pedro Ximenez and Doradillo vines.

Marion Council has committed to connecting each of the vineyard sites to irrigation, ensuring the longevity of the vines and their continued productivity during low rainfall seasons. Patritti will perform a significant rejuvenation project at each site, reinvigorating underperforming vines, planting cutting material to replace dead vines and improve the aesthetic appearance of the vineyards.

Each vineyard will remain open to the public, with the fruit for Patritti’s exclusive use.

Ms Patritti says the goal is to produce a single vineyard product from each of the vineyards when volumes and quality allow.

It’s a passion – I’m very keen on the history of the area and a lot of young people don’t realise how much the area has changed.

“When I was growing up this area was dairy farms, vineyards and almond orchards.

“People ask ‘why would you build a winery here?’ because they don’t understand that when we first started the area was surrounded by vineyards.”

The Marion area is about 12km south of the centre of Adelaide and 10km north of Reynella, where John Reynell produced one of Australia’s first wine vintages in 1842.

Many of the vineyards in the Marion area originally produced table grapes. However, much of the wine producing blocks, including the Marion Vineyard, were owned by Frank Hamilton as part of the early vine planting’s of the then FE Hamilton & Sons Winery & Distillery.

The Hamilton family sold their vineyards in the area from the 1950s through to the 1970s to make way for suburban sprawl.

Descendants of Frank Hamilton are still involved in the South Australian wine industry including Richard Hamilton of Leconfield Wines, which managed the Marion Vineyard for the City of Marion from the early 1990s until 2005.

According to the Organisation of Vine and Wine, Australia was the world’s fifth largest wine-producing nation in 2016 behind Italy, France, Spain and the United States.

South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s total annual production and about 75 per cent of its premium wine.

Organic wine sales increasing

Organic Old World wines are the most imported in domestic markets with New World wines lagging considerably far behind, according to the latest market report.

Vinexpo Bordeaux’s organic wine exhibition-within-an-exhibition reflects consumers’ growing interest in organic wine, with a 25 per cent increase in exhibitors over 2017’s show.

Around 150 exhibitors representing 10 countries as diverse as Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Greece, Romania and Canada, as well as market leaders in organic wine production – Spain, Italy and France – will be at WOW! this year in Bordeaux.

Additionally, WOW!’s international offer of organic and biodynamic wines and spirits is complemented this year by a walk-around tasting of the leading organic/biodynamic wine producer association, ‘Renaissance des Appellations’, dedicated to ensuring the validity and integrity of organic/biodynamic wine producers’ products through stringent entry qualifications.

These include a legal guarantee of ‘best agriculture practice’ – an organic/biodynamic certificate being awarded once three years of best practice in biodynamic agriculture has been completed, accompanied by certifiable evidence. Renaissance des Appellations will have 60 biodynamic wine grower members participating in the event, with organic wines from France, Italy, Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Austria represented.

For the world picture, currently organic wine accounts for just 2.4 per cent of global consumption but is gaining strongly – worldwide, organic wine consumption is forecast to increase by 30m (9-ltr) cases to 2022, compared to an increase in growth of the total (non-organic) still wine market by 35m cases, forecast to 2022. Europe dominates the organic wine market with a 77 per cent share, expected to increase to 78 per cent also by 2022.

Vinexpo CEO, Rodolphe Lameyse commented, “Bio wine is unquestionably a commercial reality now and demand for the product keeps on growing. Everyone in the wine business – retailers, restaurant owners, sommeliers, wine merchants and importers – recognize this. WOW! is our response to meet exhibitors’ and visitors’ needs for the latest information on the best and latest products. It is a strong commitment we make with our exhibitors and to our visitors, which is why it has become such an integral part of the exhibition.”

Related to what WOW! represents – reflecting increasing consumer demand for environmental integrity in what they buy and consume in the food and drink market – the Vinexpo Symposium directly addresses increasing industry concern about the environment and the impact of climate change on global vineyards, vineyard management and winemaking, and the wine economy.

Opening a month earlier this year and running for four days from May 13 to May 16, Vinexpo Bordeaux 2019 is themed on the phrase Shape the Future to position itself as the international wine and spirits exhibition that understands the key concerns of all professionals in the wine and spirits industries.

Wine Australia launching new online strategy to support exports

Enhancing the perceptions of global wine consumers is the goal of new Australian wine website and other consumer-targeted activities from Wine Australia in 2019.

Wine Australia’s new “Australian Wine Made Our Way” brand platform will underpin investments, which are supported by the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package.

Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said these activities are part of a broader strategy to build perception of and demand for Australian wine and wine tourism among the wine trade and consumers in Australia’s largest and fastest-growing export markets.

“We are excited to showcase the people, places and processes that make Australian wines unique with wine consumers globally,” Clark said.

“Our targeted events, media and education campaigns – such as the recently launched Australian Wine Discovered education program – are amplifying positive sentiment, interest and excitement around the Australian wine category, and building trade and consumer demand for our wine and tourism offerings.”

Clark said Wine Australia was also increasing its presence on social media and e-commerce platforms globally to better speak with consumer audiences.

“In the past, our resources have been largely trade focused,” he said.

“The $50m package is allowing us to step up consumer engagement through digital media and connect with a larger audience.”

South Australia invests $3 million in wine tourism

The South Australian government has launched a $3 million wine tourism campaign designed to attract international visitors to the state’s wine regions and boost the industry.

At Coriole Vineyards in McLaren Vale today, SA premier Steven Marshall, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway announced the beginning of the “International Visitation Campaigns” in the Barossa, Clare Valley, Limestone Coast, Adelaide Hills, the Riverland and McLaren Vale.

The state Government has committed $750,000 towards the initiative with funding contributions also from Wine Australia, through the Commonwealth Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, local government, wine associations and communities.

Premier Marshall said the campaigns are a key pillar in attracting more visitation to South Australia’s wine regions and cellar doors.

“Today’s launch of the International Visitation Campaigns across six wine regions will build on the fantastic work this government is already doing to attract visitors to South Australia,” said Marshall.

“Our world-famous wine regions are an important part of the state’s economy and this campaign will allow them to continue to grow and create jobs for the state.”

Whetstone said the visitation campaigns are a collaborative effort to attract international visitors to South Australia’s wine regions, with a focus on China and the United States.

“Almost 40 per cent of international tourists visit a winery during their stay in South Australia and visitor expenditure supports growth in our regions,” said Whetstone.

“South Australia’s number one wine export destination is China and Hong Kong, with $813 million worth of wine exported in 2017-18, which shows where we can continue to add value to any activities targeted to these consumers.

“Six wine regions across South Australia are utilising the campaign in a number of innovative ways to attract international visitors, including a sommelier exchange, multi-lingual website, wine trail, virtual reality and online marketing.

“Our wine regions are continuing to be innovative and adapt to changing consumer needs targeting consumers looking for premium products.”

In the McLaren Vale, wine exports exceeded $100 million for the first time last year and McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association General Manager Jennifer Lynch said a targeted consumer marketing campaign will continue to build on that momentum.

“This investment and support will generate a notable step-change in our region’s continued international growth in key wine and tourism export markets, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors to enjoy what we have to offer in McLaren Vale,” said Lynch.

US tech company partners with consulting firm to launch global wine app

My Wine Society has launched a social engagement platform dedicated to wine for vineyards, vendors and the global passionate wine community.

CEO of My Wine Society Sean Evans, and fellow industry entrepreneur Jeremy Wong have developed the app’s concept alongside Skylab apps. The app consists of building the aspect of communications, experience, and connection within its community. “Think [of its as like] Facebook for wine,” said Evans

Thanks to its partnership with Skylab Apps, it is the first wine app where the users can interact, share, explore, and be rewarded. “We were able to leverage a technology company that specialises in the science of engagement, to create a unique app platform that centers around creating the global wine community. With that we’re giving a place for wineries to uniquely communicate with their customers in a way that feels organic and complete, so they don’t lose touch with people,”  said Evans.

My Wine Society hosted their Beta launch event for the Napa Valley region — which marks the official opening of its first public testing round in partnership with conscious consumer outlet Feast it Forward, on July 14 at The Studio in Napa, California. They also launched in the LA/Temecula region in November as well as launching in the Mexico region following in early 2019.

Eliminating waste within the value stream

Behind every food and beverage product on the shelf is a supply chain journey that starts with ingredients. The Australian food manufacturing industry is an intricate maze of ingredient and packaging suppliers, most with different supply chain management solutions.

To manage ingredient safety and increase the visibility of food ingredients and raw materials in these complex supply chains, a new project, titled the Supply Chain Improvement Project, is being implemented with the objective of strengthening integration between upstream supply chains in the Australian food manufacturing industry.

An industry working group has been set up to drive the project using GS1 standards. The group will work to achieve consensus across the industry to improve food safety, deliver efficiencies and reduce costs. Representatives from Nestlé, Ingham’s, SPC, Lion Dairy and Drinks, Sanitarium, CHR Hansen, Newly Weds Foods, FPC Food Plastics, Labelmakers and Visy Industries are some who currently make up the group.

The ability to capture material movements from “paddock to plate” provides data integrity and timeliness from receipt to delivery, with traceability back to the source. Through automation, many of the manual processes are eliminated and companies can be proactive with inventory management and handling systems.

The capability to support information and production flow within existing systems for integrated supply chains is critical to businesses. The project has the capacity to eliminate waste within an organisation’s value stream, reduce non-value-added tasks and ensure cost-effective solutions for customers, leading to a “right-first-time” approach for all deliveries.

Sourcing ingredients without a traceability and food safety protocol today invites counterfeit products onto the food chain and increases risk of contamination.
The adoption of GS1 standards as the common language for the identification, data capture and data sharing will enable automation of key ingredient sourcing, and traceability between ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers.

Using GS1 standards for upstream integration allows companies to translate their internal processes and approaches into a common language that all trading partners can use and understand without having to translate data formats across different supply chain management systems.

The Supply Chain Improvement Project has the potential to confer many benefits to industry, including increased visibility of food ingredients and raw materials, unique identification and traceability to improve food safety, and reduced costs with automated business transactions.

A taste of Australian cellar doors in Chinese homes

Miniature sample packs designed to bring cellar door style tastings into the home are providing a new Chinese sales channel for South Australian wineries.

delaide startup Trust in Taste trialled the system in China earlier in the year and is now ramping up its marketing and production ahead of Chinese New Year celebrations in late January and early February.

So far five wineries have partnered with Trust in Taste from South Australian regions Barossa, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Riverland and Adelaide Plains with wines sent to China including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Pinot Noir.

The channel involves targeted messages to Chinese wine drinkers through social media platform WeChat inviting them to sign-up for an in-home tasting for AU$5 (¥25RMD).

Three South Australian wines in 60ml bottles with QR codes are then home delivered for a cellar door style tasting. When scanned, the QR code on each bottle takes the taster to the Trust in Taste WeChat store where more information on the wine is provided, including a video with the winemaker.

Larger 750ml bottles can then be ordered on the website for about $30 each (¥150RMD) and feedback can be given on each sample.

“It’s direct to consumer wine but we give people the opportunity to sample the wine before they buy it to take the risk out – we know that works because cellar doors work,” co-founder Peter Evans said.

“We’re trying to provide a cellar door experience in every home in the world, starting in China.”

One of the key aspects of the marketing channel is the development of technology to transfer wine from regular wine bottles into the small tasting samples without affecting wine quality.

This is done by Trust in Taste in China with the next generation of machine currently being developed to fully automate the process.

“We created some technology that allows us to take wine out of a big bottle and put it into a small bottle with a 30-day shelf life – that was previously not possible,” Evans said.

“It’s done in a certain way in a fully inert environment – the wine never touches oxygen.

“We had a winemaker blind taste his own wine and he couldn’t tell the difference between the one we opened 10 minutes earlier and the one that was 30 days old.”

China is Australia’s biggest export market for wine with more than AU$1 billion worth of Australian wine heading there each year. Australia is second only to France for wine exports to China.

South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual production and 75 per cent of premium wine.

Under the Trust in Taste model, participating wineries deliver a pallet – about 60 cases or 720 bottles – of wine to Trust in Taste and it is shipped to their warehouse in China where a portion of it is put into sample bottles.

If the wine does not all sell during the 120-day consignment period it can be returned to the winery for sale in Australia.

The cost to the winery for the marketing, videos, shipping, import/export paperwork and 1000 tasting samples is $3500.

Evans said this system also took the risk out of exporting to China for small and medium-sized producers and gave them an additional channel for reaching new consumers.

He said the online feedback provided after a tasting also gave the participating wineries a rare insight into “the most opaque market in the world”.

“We take the wine from them on consignment, ship it to China, put it in the small sample packs and put it into the mouths of 1000 people,” Evans said.

“They either buy the wine or tell us why they don’t like it.

“What the wineries are appreciating is that opaque market has disappeared, they are now talking to consumers who are telling them x, y or z about their wine.

“If you send it out to 1000 people and you get 200 responses then that’s about 198 more than you would get if you were selling it through a distributor – that’s what the wineries are telling us – they just got no feedback previously.”

The first trial samples were distributed in April but a cornerstone investment by a venture capital and private equity fund last month has allowed Trust in Taste to conduct further market research and ramp up the operation ahead of Chinese New Year, which falls on February 5.

The investment by South Australian fund Silicon Balls came about after Trust in Taste was a finalist in the marketing category at the Wine Industry Impact Awards in October.

So far about 1500 tasting kits have been sent to consumers mainly in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou with about a 10 per cent conversion rate into full bottle sales for certain labels. But two wine shipments to China this week will help ramp up supply and allow a fresh wave of tasting samples to be sent out in January.

Trust in Taste was founded by Evans and his brother John and has seven staff in China.

Evans said he hoped to have 30 Australian wineries on board by the end of 2019 and was looking for more investment to help roll out the model globally.

“We’re concentrating on China because the numbers are really attractive but the concept, the technology to get it out of the big bottle and into the little bottle and the marketing works anywhere in the world,” he said.

“All we need is a population area over five million, good messaging and good logistics – wherever you can deliver within a day.”

Evans said in initial trials 40 per cent of WeChat users who clicked through to the Trust in Taste WeChat store went on to order a sample tasting.

He said the 2019 goal was to expand the business in China to 200,000 samples by the end of the year with a conversion rate of 20 per cent.

“People will go and do tastings in China but we haven’t found anyone else doing what we’re doing,” Evans said.

Trust in Taste’s research into its WeChat audience has found that its target consumer in China is likely to be female, 25-35 years old, and degree educated. The target consumer lives in a big city, drinks two to three bottles of wine a month with friends in a quiet place and is prepared to pay between AU$20 and $60 (¥100 – ¥300RMB) for a bottle.

This equates to almost 50 million people in the direct target market and 100 million when males are included.

“So this is not corporate gift giving, this is a newer generation coming through wanting to learn a bit more about wine and drink it with friends,” Evans said.

“It’s also about turning up to a dinner party for Chinese New Year, presenting a bottle of wine and not being embarrassed about how it might taste.”

Artificial Intelligence helps accurately map Australia’s 65 wine regions

The vineyards in Australia’s 65 wine regions will soon be accurately mapped using high-resolution satellite images and advanced machine learning in a national census of Australia’s winegrape area.

Wine Australia chief executive officer Andreas Clark said the national scan is an exciting opportunity as it will allow Australia for the first time to have a scalable and repeatable method to measure vineyard area.

“Through the investment, the maps will also be delivered in an online interface that will be able to be accessed by Australia’s grape-growers,” he said.

By mid-2019, Consilium Technology’s world leading agricultural artificial intelligence software Geospatial Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture (GAIA) will deliver a row-by-row census of all of Australia’s vineyards using high-resolution satellite images and advanced machine learning.

READ: Australia’s winegrape crush in 2018 just above long-term average

The scan will be repeated for two years, producing maps for three consecutive vintages.

Wine Australia’s agreement with Consilium Technology follows a successful pilot undertaken earlier in 2018, which returned an outstanding accuracy of more than 90 per cent for scans of the two trial regions Margaret River and Tasmania.

“GAIA’s pilot of Margaret River and Tasmania demonstrated the technology can deliver accurate, timely and cost-effective information about Australia’s vineyards and it is exciting that its capabilities will continue to grow as it learns from the information it receives. We are extremely pleased with the results,” said Clark.

GAIA’s first test was conducted in Margaret River where vineyard locations were already known, and a quantitative analysis of accuracy performed on the results.

A second demonstration was then run using the trained algorithm from the previous analysis to demonstrate its learning capability, which showed a 5 per cent improvement on the previous scan.

Tasmania provided GAIA with an unknown space to work with and the added complication for the software of other crops that have a very similar appearance to vineyards.

“GAIA stood up to the challenge and we’re excited to see how it performs against similar obstacles in other wine regions,” said Clark.

The first national scan will be delivered in mid-2019 and will include the geolocation of every vineyard block in Australia, the area of vineyards for each geographical indication and the length of the vineyard rows in each region.

It is anticipated that the information from the scan will also be beneficial to Australia’s biosecurity activities and wine label integrity.

To improve the quality of the reporting, grape-growers will be asked to identify the varieties of the vineyard plots from the scan.

Funding flows in for Western Australia’s wine regions

Western Australia’s wine regions are receiving funding from the Australian government.

A $2-million marketing campaign to boost international visits to Western Australia’s wine regions received support from the Australian Government’s $50 million Export and Regional Wine Support Package, a network of WA Government and sector partners.

Wines of WA has secured $1 million in funding through the International Wine Tourism State Grants program and $1m in matching state funds, through a consortium of state government agencies and tourism, agricultural and regional bodies.

Wine Australia chief executive officer, Andreas Clark, said the Wines of WA application was approved by the Australian Government following assessment by an independent expert assessment panel.

READ: Four of the five largest markets for Australian wine exports have grown in value

“The $5m state grants program aims to maximise the wine sector’s impact on state economies – it’s about driving collaborative, strategic wine tourism initiatives that attract international visitors to our wine regions,” said Clark.

Wines of WA was working with the Western Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Tourism WA and their counterparts in the wine, trade and agriculture sectors to cross promote WA’s wine, food and tourism destinations and experiences, he said.

Wines of WA collaborative wine tourism strategy aligns with the existing Western Australian Wine Industry Strategic Plan 2014–2024, which aims to double wine exports to $100m by 2021.

Wines of WA chief executive officer, Larry Jorgensen, said the investment plan was built around four key areas – in-region and inter-region collaboration with key sector partners, wine tourism product development, a comprehensive suite of digital marketing tools and partnerships with tourism operators and agencies.

“The aim is to build on the strong brand of regional hotspots like Margaret River and create new wine tourism experiences in other regions to extend tourists’ spend and length of stay in WA”, said Jorgensen.

The $5 million International Wine Tourism State Grants program requires applicants to provide matching funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis.