News

Boost for wine region

by
February 07, 2018

Members of the Winemakers of Rutherglen with Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes.

More jobs will be created and there will be improvements to the local wine industry thanks to a grant of more than $100,000 for wineries in the Rutherglen area.

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes recently visited Campbells Wines in Rutherglen to meet with local wine growers and announce the funding from the Andrews Labor Government’s Wine Growth Fund for Rutherglen region winemakers.
The eight successful projects aim to increase wine tourism and cellar door sales, improve strategic planning and marketing, as well as improve vineyard production, reduce environmental impact and attract even more tourists and wine lovers.
“Rutherglen is already well known for its boutique wines and these projects will further enhance the regions reputation,” Ms Symes said.
Campbells Wines will use its share of money ($19,000) for a collaboration project with other local wineries to promote Muscat as a major drawcard for the Rutherglen wine region.
The project will develop seven unique visitor experiences at each of the Muscat of Rutherglen producer wineries and will include printed collateral, improved website, digital marketing, and new display at the Rutherglen Visitor Information Centre.
“Promoting Rutherglen to the world market as the home of Muscat is an exciting project with potential to bring significant economic and social benefits to the region,” Ms Symes said.
“Muscat’s home is Rutherglen and there are grand plans to make sure that message goes out to the world.”
Ms Symes said wine was not just about the drinking experience.
“It’s about bringing visitors to this region, which brings in that all important tourism dollar to small towns like Rutherglen,” she said.
“The wine industry is booming and the Labor Government is happy to partner with the wine growers to ensure that the whole community benefits from the fantastic industry.”
Damien Cofield from Cofield Wines welcomed the funds which will be used to purchase labelling equipment and add functionality to their website.
“The equipment will allow us to create bespoke labels and open up a whole new market for us in the gifting space, which is quite a big market that we are not tapping into at the moment,” he said.
Warrabilla Wines’ Amy Sutherland Smith said the winery would upgrade its website with the funds.
“We are going to get a photographer in and do some work to spruce up the website with photos and videos,” she said.
Scion owner Rowly Milhinch said the money would be used to expand the cellar door experience, establish a hospitality area, develop the processing area and increase the storage and handling area.
“We will be moving some existing jobs from part-time to full-time, so investing more in existing staff as well as new jobs,” he said.
“We see the new hospitality area up and running in the next 12 to 16 months, which will be about giving people a really involved experience for those looking to taste wine and see our production as well.”
Marc Scalzo from Rutherglen Estates welcomed the funds to upgrade their 20-year-old ageing irrigation control system, replacing it with state-of-the-art equipment that will reduce power and water usage.
“It’s to secure the vineyard through things like this heatwave and make sure that the existing ageing equipment doesn’t fail,” he said.
Valhalla Wines’ Anton Therkildsen will redevelop the old cellar door to respond to growing demand and introduce a new food and wine matching experience, as well as update the website to advertise the new offering.
“It’s exciting, we have been open for over 10 years now and this money will be used to give a spruce up,” he said.
“We are going away from a traditional bar type set up, there will be a small bar still for tastings, but there will be a long table where people can sit together and enjoy that food and wine experience.
“We are also looking at smaller scale master classes and food and wine experiences in the evenings as well.”
Ms Symes said the fund was helping the wine industry maximise the opportunities available to better market and export some of Australia’s best wine.
The Wine Growth Fund aims to develop and sustainably grow the wine industry in Victoria by providing innovative growers, organisations and projects with funding to build both domestic and international markets.
Victoria’s wine industry plays a vital role in regional and rural economies, contributing an estimated $7.6 billion to the Victorian economy and employing almost 13,000 people.

The projects include:  
                                                                                                 
Buller Wines – to develop a wine export program to China, including attendance at three wine trade shows in China during 2018.
Amount: $10,000

Cofield Wines – to purchase labelling equipment and add functionality to their website to allow the winery to offer an innovative packaging option of bespoke label design, to be marketed as ‘Say it with Vino’.
Amount: $12,500
Lake Moodemere Vineyards – for their third stage of a four-stage masterplan to elevate Lake Moodemere Estate to a stand-alone tourist destination. This project involves an expansion of the cellar door and dining space (from 40 to 120 guests), a commercial kitchen and cool room.
Amount: $20,000
 
Rutherglen Estates – to upgrade their ageing irrigation control system, replacing it with state-of-the-art equipment that will reduce power and water usage.
Amount: $20,000
Scion – to expand the cellar door experience, establish a hospitality area, develop the processing area and increase the storage and handling area.
Amount: $20,000
 
Valhalla Wines – to redevelop the old cellar door to respond to growing demand and introduce a new food and wine matching experience, as well as update the website to advertise the new offering.
Amount: $20,000
Warrabilla Wines –to upgrade the website with added photo-video library, social media plug-ins and promotion.
Amount $4,500
 
Campbells Wines – for a collaboration project with other local wineries to promote Muscat as a major drawcard for the Rutherglen wine region. The project will develop seven unique visitor experiences at each of the Muscat of Rutherglen producer wineries and will include printed collateral, improved website, digital marketing, and new display at the Rutherglen Visitor Information Centre.
Amount: $19,000

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