01 June 2015
Victoria's world class wine industry was the toast of the town last week, with the arrival of a major inbound trade mission 'Meet the Winemaker' aimed at building new export opportunities for local producers.
More than 150 industry buyers, investors and journalists from 13 countries — including China, India, South Korea, Japan and the United Arab Emirates — were invited to take part in the four-day 'Meet the Winemaker' event. They were introduced to winemakers from 100 premium Victorian wineries.
The mission is the first large-scale inbound mission specific to the wine industry, and the second mission in the new 'Victoria Invitation Program'.
Delegates toured multiple wine regions during their visit, and participated in such novel activities as vine pruning lessons and wine tasting 61 metres underground in a mine in Bendigo. The seven buses that carried them clocked up approximately 800kms each on average, over the four days.
The trade mission attracted the interest of local TV media, while many Chinese delegates took to Chinese social media service WeChat to share their experiences. Early feedback from both wineries and international buyers has been very positive, with some deals already done.
The Victorian wine industry employs more than 11,500 Victorians and generates more than A$1 billion a year in revenue. It is one of the state's most valuable food and beverage exports, exporting 55 million litres worth A$182 million to 80 countries in 2013-14.
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