13 May A fine time for Australian wine
IT’S been a good week for Australian wine.
On Monday, Seppelt winery announced it would keep its historic Great Western cellar door.
This comes after Seppelt’s owner, wine giant Treasury Wine Estates, announced in October last year it would close the Seppelt winery and sell vineyards in Great Western and the Yarra Valley to save itself some cash on an underproductive facility.
The move was a controversial one and drew criticism from across the state, and was largely viewed as a greedy move by a large wine company, which would have long lasting impacts on the Grampians region.
TWE has now said it will keep the cellar door open as the home of Seppelt and as a tourism attraction for the Grampians region, with a view to funnel money back into the local community.
Meanwhile, Australian wines continue to succeed at international wine competitions, taking out the second highest number of awards at this week’s International Wine Challenge, and becoming its first non-Italian gold medal winner of the Montepulciano category.
In the results, announced yesterday, Australia was awarded 815 medals including 80 gold, 375 silver and 360 bronze.
This meant Australia finished second on the leaderboard, beaten only by France, a pretty impressive result for a country still under-recognised overseas for its wine capabilities.
TWE’s Wolf Blass Wines took home seven gold medals while its other major high-end labels Penfolds and McGuigan Wines received five each.
Wine Australia spokeswoman Laura Jewell said Australia’s success was supported by the country’s wide range of grape varieties and wine styles.
In a boon for the industry, Wine Australia announced it would invest $8.5 million over the next four years in 12 new research and development projects aimed to help increase demand and the premium paid for Australian wine.
The programs will also help increase the grape and wine sector’s competitiveness in international markets.
This all comes after industry results released in January which showed Australian wine exports surged 14 per cent to $2.1 billion last year to hit their highest value since October 2007.
It seems like a fine time to be in the wine business.
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