Registration now open for Aussie Wine Month

The biggest celebration of Australian wine, Aussie Wine Month will return this May to showcase the exceptional quality and diversity of wine produced in our own backyard.

For wine enthusiasts to complete novices, Aussie Wine Month gives everyone across the country the chance to learn more and get excited about Australian wine, experience new and legendary Australian wines and discover the stories that make them unique.

Registrations are now open for restaurants, bars, cellar doors, retail stores and wine brands to take part in the month long celebration by organising an event or promotion that focuses on Australian wine.

All events uploaded to the Aussie Wine Month website will be promoted across Aussie Wine Month marketing and social channels in the lead up and during the month of May.

Help us spread the word that Australian wine is the best!

Ideas for Aussie Wine Month activities include:
• Food and wine pairing dinner
• Event with focus on the latest wine trends or alternative varieties
• Wine tastings
• Meet the wine maker event
• Wine workshops and masterclasses
• All Aussie wine list
• Aussie wine parties
• Promotions on Australian wine sales
• Australian wine of the day
• Food and wine festivals

Check out now and register your activity for free.

Aussie Wine Month will run nationwide from 1 – 31st May 2017.



Margaret River Wine Association (MRWA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Amanda Whiteland to the newly created position of Marketing Director.

South West local Amanda brings a wealth of global wine marketing experience having worked in
marketing roles both domestically and internationally for 20 years. She has extensive experience working in cross-cultural and challenging environments, in both large and small organizations.

MRWA chair, Cath Oates says, "Amanda brings unique skills and wide ranging experience to the
association, having a strong understanding of the fine wine industry, key international markets and the local South West region. We are excited to have someone of her calibre to lead our Association forward."

Amanda Whiteland says, "Having worked overseas for three-quarters of my career, I have always been a huge ambassador for Margaret River Wine quality and its unique positioning in Australia. I am really excited to collaborate with our members, the wider community and industry to further build the Margaret River brand."

This new senior role will report to the Board through the President, and will be charged with
further developing and implementing the Margaret River Wine positioning through a structured and planned marketing approach. Key responsibilities will focus upon marketing planning, brand management and stakeholder communications.

In addition, Pip Heaford who has worked for the association since 2008 has been promoted and will now work full-time. Tamara Chick, recently employed as Administration and Accounts Officer, will continue in her current role.

Media Enquiries:

Cath Oates - President: or 0401 303 144
Matt Credaro - Vice President: or 0407 925 257

WA State Election Update

Over the course of the state election, Wines of WA has communicated a non-partisan policy position for all parties to consider. Please see attached policy document which outlines our approach.

The main aim of our engagement has been to secure a commitment to formal consultation with the WA wine industry on two key issues; wine tourism and market development. We also intend to confirm with the State Government, the importance of the WA wine industry in regional economic development.

To date, we have received a commitment from:

• Opposition Leader Mark McGowan confirming that, if elected, Labor will engage with the WA wine industry in formal consultation on wine tourism, market development and the importance of the WA wine industry in regional economic development. Mr McGowan stated, “If elected, a McGowan Labor Government is committed to formally consult with the West Australian wine industry on how to drive wine tourism and export marker development. WA's wine industry is an important part of diversifying our economy and creating jobs for the future.”

• Blackwood Warren MLA Terry Redman and Nationals WA candidate for Vasse Peter Gordon confirming that Nationals WA will engage with the WA wine industry in formal consultation on wine tourism, market development and the importance of the WA wine industry in regional economic development. Mr Gordon and Mr Redman stated, “If elected at the upcoming State Election, Nationals WA would undertake to set up a formal consultation process with the WA grape and wine community, along with tourism stakeholders, to look at options to boost cellar door tourism and support export market development."

• Premier Colin Barnett and Vasse MLA Libby Mettam confirming that, if elected, Liberals WA will engage with the WA wine industry in formal consultation on wine tourism, market development and the importance of the WA wine industry in regional economic development. Ms Mettam stated, ”a Liberal-led government will commit to a formal consultation process with the WA grape and wine industry to boost cellar door tourism, export market development and regional development."

WA Wine Industry State Election Policy Statement LINK

Larry Jorgensen
Chief Executive Officer
Wines of WA
T – 0448 884 161
E –

Halliday, Hancock and Horgan - honoured as wine industry 'greats'

The outstanding achievements of three ‘greats’ of the Australian wine industry have been honoured at a special awards presentation held by the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia (WFA) in Adelaide last night.

James Halliday AM, Chris Hancock MW and Denis Horgan AM were named Life Members of the Australian Wine Industry.

Each of the recipients is a household name and their efforts in the nation’s vineyards, wineries, boardrooms and gracing the pages of the most discerning wine publications, have played a key role in creating a vibrant modern industry and brought Australian wines to the attention of consumers around the world.

“This coveted Life Member Award recognises outstanding leadership and contribution to the nation’s wine industry over and above an individual’s career achievements,” said WFA President Sandy Clark.

“Chris, Denis and James are worthy winners and take their place among other greats including Wolf Blass, d’Arry Osborn, Philip Laffer, John May, Terry Lee, Peter Barnes, Peter Wall and Bill Chambers. The Winemakers’ Federation of Australia is proud to administer this award”, he said.

Chinese New Year Celebrates the Fine Wine Regions of WA

Wines of WA (WoWA) collaborated with the WA Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC), the Office of Multicultural Interests, Tourism WA and the Department of State Development to host a group of four influential online food, wine and lifestyle journalists from China for a fine wine and seafood experience. The influential opinion leaders were flown to WA as part of the State Government’s $1million marketing strategy built around the Chinese New Year.

The event, “Journey of Discovery – The Fine Wine Regions and Premium Fisheries of Western Australia” was held on Friday 3 February at Matilda Bay Restaurant as a part of the WA State Government’s 2017 Chinese New Year program, celebrating 30 years of sister state relationship with Zhejiang Province – see event program here (link)

WoWA CEO, Larry Jorgensen explained that the concept was simple: “get a beautiful venue, a great kitchen, fantastic produce and amazing wine, then get of the way.”

Attending the event were leaders of the WA Chinese community including Mr Khoon Tan, President of the WA Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Mr Ding Shao Ping from the Chung Wah Society. Mr Ding said it was, “… an amazing fine wine and seafood “Journey of Discovery” experience. We all had a fantastic time. I believe that all of us will never forget this experience. We have the best wine and seafood in the world.” Ms Anlin Sun, Deputy Consul-General of the Chinese Consulate in Perth who also joined the group was also impressed; “the journey of discovery will always in my memory. It gave me a chance to learn more about W.A. I hope more Chinese people will share your beautiful state and your delicious seafood.”

WA seafood ambassador, Don Hancey explained each dish to the group. In typical Don style his summarised the event thus, “Stunning dinner last night, food and service impeccable. Our special guests  most impressed.” John Harrison, CEO of WAFIC said, “the evening was a great way to showcase the excellence of WA’s seafood while at the same time offering an opportunity to educate key opinion leaders about the State’s fisheries and wineries.”

Mr Jorgensen noted that the primary focus from a wine perspective was to demonstrate the synergy between white wine and seafood. “We know the Chinese love seafood and we know that white wine currently accounts for only 13% of the wine that WA exports to China. Events like this will help to change that. Riesling, SSB, Verdelho and Chardonnay shone on the night.”

Chinese dinner.jpg

UK Buyers Visit the Fine Wine Regions of WA

Independent wine buyers from the UK toured the State’s wine regions last month as part of the 10-day trip.

Facilitated by Wines of WA, the buyers visited Peel, Geographe, Margaret River, Blackwood Valley, Pemberton, Manjimup, Great Southern and Swan Valley. Yapp Brothers’ Meirion Williams said, “Margaret River and the Great Southern are known in the UK, but other regions less so. The group wanted to learn more about the fine wine regions of WA.”

Wines of WA chief executive Larry Jorgensen said the UK was in the top five markets for WA producers. The group, comprised of independent on and off-premise business were a perfect fit for many WA producers. “They were looking for wine with provenance made by people with authenticity in their brand. In one sense there were no surprises, because the group were aware of the quality coming out of WA. But in another sense there were many surprises because the group couldn’t believe the consistent quality of the wines and diversity of styles across our regions. The group was able to experience the different cultures of each region  I believe that good business relationships will develop as a result of the visit”

Mr Jorgensen said, “the trip, was funded in part by an export market development grant from the Department of Agriculture and Food WA. WoWA’s rolewas to facilitate and join the dots for Regional Associations. Each Association organised the activities for their region. It is a fantastic example of the value of collaboration.”

Service to WA wine industry rewarded with Sensory Scholarship

As part of its commitment to education and dedication to the WA wine industry, the Royal Agricultural Society of Western Australia (RASWA) is proud to have awarded winemaker Paul Dixon of Busselton with an opportunity to attend one of the pre-eminent Wine Sensory Evaluation courses in Australia. 
Paul was awarded the scholarship based on his experience, which includes work at Thompson Estate, Vasse Felix and Moss Brothers, with over two dozen awards and recognitions won for the quality of his winemaking.
The Advanced Wine Judges Scholarship was developed by the RASWA Wine Committee to support education in agribusiness. The scholarship has been named after John Hanley, AO in recognition of 43 years contribution to the Perth Royal Wine Show and is intended to support the development of excellence in the WA wine tasting sector. 
“It is an absolute pleasure to have Paul as our inaugural recipient of this scholarship,” said RASWA Councillor John Snowball.
“I could not think of someone more deserving and committed to excellence in all aspects of winemaking than Paul.”
The scholarship allowed Paul to attend the 40th Advanced Wine Assessment Course held by the Australian Wine Research Institute in South Australia. This prestigious course is internationally recognised a vehicle for training professional wine show judges and is one of the primary developers of Australia’s elite wine sensory analysis and vocabulary capabilities.
The intensive course saw Paul engage in live training for four days, with the nation’s leading wine judges and winemakers assisting participants in the development of their skills.
“It was really good to be put into a show situation and to feel the pressure of what it would be like to be judging at the highest level,” said Paul.
“I tasted a huge array of wines and this will be of great benefit when I do wine show judging in WA’s wine producing regions.”
For more information please contact David Satterthwaite, Royal Agricultural Society of WA Communications and PR Executive. / 0420440921 / (08) 6263 3104

Decanter World Wine Awards

The World's largest and most influential wine competition is now in its 14th edition. Entries have just opened and close on March 3rd, 2017. Western Australian wineries can take advantage of the consolidated shipping direct from WA, all wines must be received by February 24th.

Enter online and save £20 per entry
Online entry: GBP £126 per wine
Consolidated shipping: Add GBP £40 per wine

Further information about the awards and why you should enter is in the attached documents. Visit our website\enter to have all the information you need to know about how to enter, why you should enter, shipping your samples and the judging panels.

Don't miss the opportunity to have your wines judged by the world's leading wine palates. Should you have any question please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stephanie Duboudin 0437 663 878

Federal Government Announces Revised WET Rebate Integrity Measure Amendments

Federal Government Announces Revised WET Rebate Integrity Measure Amendments

Wines of Western Australia (WoWA) warmly welcomes today’s announcement by the Federal Government of important integrity reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate and supports those reforms. This is a good news story of Government and Industry working together to achieve optimum and balanced outcomes.

Senator Ruston is to be congratulated on the thorough and extensive consultation process that she has conducted with the wine industry since the announcement of these reforms in the 2016 Budget. This process highlighted the importance of the WET rebate to small premium wine producers, particularly those operating in regional areas where they are a critical part of their local economies and tourism infrastructure.

WoWA has worked with the Government on behalf of the fine wine regions in Western Australia to ensure that the reforms refocus and restore integrity to the WET rebate system and continue to provide relief to small premium winemakers from the burden of WET. WoWA has been instrumental in the formulation of key aspects of the reforms, in particular:

• the eligibility criteria which will ensureyoung and innovative winemakers can enter the market and;
• and the cellar door rebate scheme which will encourage producers to continue to invest in their cellar door operations and support their local tourism industry.

Moving the amendments out to July 2018 will allow wine producers to refocus their businesses operations. Considering the extent of the reforms, this is a well measured revision due to the long production lead times in the wine industry.
Everything in the revised policy is focused around returning the rebate to its original intent and the Government has absolutely nailed it. We look forward to continued discussions over its implementation, the $50m Wine Tourism and Export Development Fund and future taxation reviews.

At the local level, we would like to make a special mention to Senator Dean Smith, Senator Chris Back, Hon. Christian Porter MP, Nola Marino MP, Rick Wilson MP and Andrew Hastie MP for their grassroots input in assessing economic and social consequences in regional wine communities. These grassroots assessments were also supported by Premier Colin Barnett and local MP Libby Mettam.