Winemakers get massive money boost

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BIG WINNERS: Wine Victoria chairman Damien Sheehan belives winemakers will benefit from a $50 million federal government investment. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDGRAMPIANS and Pyrenees winemakers will receive $50 million from the federal government to help them grow export markets.
Nanjing Night Net

The government will allocate the moneyto the Australian Grape and Wine Authority for a export and regional wine support package.

It aims to promote Australian-produced wines and wine tourism.

Howeverthe positive news was tempered by another decision that could see small producers no longer given access to the wine equalisation tax rebate.

Mount Langi Ghiran general manager Damien Sheehan said the big investment would help winemakers overcome one of the biggest obstacles in the industry.

“It will help findenough resources to do the work we need to do in our export markets,” he said.

“It will also helpto develop those markets, not just existing markets like the United States or United Kingdom, but also emerging markets in Asia.

“The industry has a body in Wine Australia that works to facilitate promotion of trade ventures, to assist the industry with things like exports.

“I’d imagine they will use that money to deliver programs here in Australia and also overseas.”

The wine equalisation tax rebate criteria will be tightened to exclude producers of bulk and unbranded wine.

But criteria demanding producers own either a vineyard or lease a vineyard could also see small producers of just one wine label locked out of the rebate.

Mr Sheehan said the detail of the rebate changes was not yet decided, but small producers needed to be taken into account.

“Those people are really important to the industry because they really create vibrancy,” he said.

“Those kind of operators in Victoria especially is what gives the industry colour.”

Pyrenees label SubRosa is one example of a producer who does not own bricks and mortar in the industry.

They produce only one label.

SubRosa director Nancy Panter said the proposed definition needed to be evolved.

“They are looking at changing the description of a wine producer to someone who owns a winery,” she said.

“There a bunch of people who do not and only produce one brand, it just needs to be evolved to include small winemakers.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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