Wine to grow with Labor wine tourism plan

PLANS: Jacinta Allan with Wine Victoria chairman Damien Sheehan and Bendigo Winegrowers Association's Bill Blamires. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN
PLANS: Jacinta Allan with Wine Victoria chairman Damien Sheehan and Bendigo Winegrowers Association's Bill Blamires. Picture: JODIE DONNELLAN

WINE Victoria believes a $1 million boost from the Labor Party would help the industry address some of its most pressing issues.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan announced the funding at Balgownie Estate on Monday morning, which would be put towards the Victorian Wine Tourism Strategy.

The strategy aims to boost cellar door visits and connect customers directly with wine suppliers, as well as increasing export opportunities. It includes industry priorities identified by Wine Victoria.

Wine Victoria chairman Damien Sheehan said the funding will help to ease oversupply, which has plagued the industry in Victoria.

He said the $1 million was "critical" for the industry.

"The profitability for growers is going to come through access to exports," he said.

"The regional tourism strategy will also address oversupply because it means people are accessing consumers directly and making sales which will turn into profitability."

Ms Allan also announced a Labor government will establish a Ministerial Wine Industry Advisory Group.

She said the announcements would help to get "Victorian wine on the tables in Australia and around the world".

"It's about working with the industry to identify other challenges, other issues about how it can grow and how it can continue to employ more people," Ms Allan said.

"We want to make sure the potential of the industry is captured."

Bendigo Winegrowers Association president Bill Blamires said the tourism strategy will make people in Melbourne aware of Bendigo's 45 winegrowers.

He said the region is close enough for those in Melbourne to make the most of and provides a unique experience.