Increase Your Capacity at Cellar Door

Tourism WA with Wine Tourism Australia and Destination Marketing Store is facilitating workshops in six regions from the 22nd of May to the 7th June designed to assist wineries build capacity in their cellar doors. The three part workshops will be delivered by Robin Shaw - Wine Tourism Australia, and Charlotte Prouse - Destination Marketing Store. Workshops run from 9am - 5pm. 

Full details here or email

Changes to Australia Post Parcel Service

From 1 July, 2018, Australia Post will no longer be offering Wines of Western Australia contract rates for untracked (BPA) parcel services.

Untracked parcels require more manual handling, and do not take advantage of Australia Post's automated network that has been designed to maximise efficiency, visibility and confidence in meeting delivery commitments. 

With the growth of eCommerce, there is also an increasing need to provide parcel senders and receivers with notifications and the ability to track the movement of each parcel. Therefore to help meet these growing demands, untracked parcel services will no longer be available on contract rates from 1 July, 2018.

To continue accessing the Wines of Western Australia's discounted rates you can transition to the tracked eParcel service. If you don’t currently have access to eParcel rates, please contact WoWA who will be able to support you in accessing the associations negotiated rates.

Once set up, you’ll receive an email with relevant login details and instructions on how to create shipping labels with eParcel. If using the online eParcel lodgement tool is not suitable for your business, untracked parcels can still be lodged on a Paper Mailing Statement across the counter at your nearest Post Office or Business Hub at our standard published parcel rates.

Please contact WoWA by 30 May 2018 to allow for the setup and transition to the new eParcel service by emailing

2019 Nuffield Scholarships Open

Applications for the 2019 Nuffield Scholarships are now open. Farmers and farm managers between the ages of 28 and 45 are encouraged to apply for scholarship which this year carries the theme 'Produce Change'.

Nuffield Australia CEO Jodie Dean said the theme ‘Produce Change’ was inspired and encouraged by both the successes of existing Scholars and the next wave of farmers, who are redefining agriculture in an age of unprecedented technological advances and globalisation.

“Producing change goes straight to the heart of what we do at Nuffield. Nuffield Scholars research and deliver practical change that adds real value to farm businesses and the Australian community more broadly,” Ms. Dean said.

This year, there are up to 25 scholarships on offer, each valued at $30,000.

Each scholarship runs for 18 months and enables farmers to travel overseas for 16 weeks, to discover and learn from some of the best operators in the business, who are making a meaningful impact on their industry, and to share those learnings back home.

For more information or to apply visit the website here.

The press release can be downloaded here.

Non-Executive Directors sought for Wine Australia

Applications open for Non-Executive Board Positions

Wine Australia seeks applications for the roles of Non-Executive Directors of Wine Australia from suitably qualified and experienced persons.

In making these appointments, Wine Australia aims to create a balanced board which operates in a collegiate manner and which fosters the appropriate testing and challenging of matters relating to policy, governance, direction and performance of the organisation.

See position description here at Hender Consulting.

Applications in Word format only should be submitted by 13th April via email to The Presiding Member, Wine Australia Selection Committee:

Confidential telephone enquiries are welcome and may be directed to Julie Brennan at Hender Consulting on (08) 8100 8827.

Download candidate information here.


WA Preventative Health Summit

By invitation from Minister for Health, the Hon. Roger Cook, WoWA CEO Larry Jorgensen attended the recent Preventative Health Summit in March, convened by the Department of Health, Mental Health Commission and Healthway.

A wide range of issues were covered by invited speakers. See more information here and link to a video recording of each session here (session 3 is focused on alcohol and health)

In summarising the outcomes of the Summit Larry noted that, “the WA wine industry looks forward to working with the WA government to develop strategies that are targeted to achieve the best results in reducing harmful alcohol consumption while minimising unnecessary negative impacts on the broader community.”

2018 International Wine Tourism Strategy Released

Wines of WA has been developing a submission for the state grant under the Federal $50M wine industry support package (the Package). We worked with Regional Associations and their partners and stakeholders to identify key strategies and resulting projects to be funded via the competitive grants component of the Package.

The main aim at state level was to identify commonly held strategies and align these across regions. In doing so, there will be two benefits: economies of scale/reduction of duplication in implementing strategies/tactics and; greater collaboration between regions to amplify the impact of implementation of strategies/tactics.

Key in developing and supporting an aligned state-wide strategy were Tourism WA and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Geographe, Blackwood Valley, Southern Forests and Great Southern have all aligned their strategies and support into the state grant. Perth Hills and Peel have provided input to the development and support the state strategy. SCOOP digital has been engaged as commercial partner to deliver a comprehensive digital platform available to all regions and producers to be integrated into their promotional activities aimed at driving visitation and spend in region.

Margaret River Wine Association and Swan Valley and Regional Winemakers, in collaboration with their regional partners and stakeholders, have also submitted applications for competitive grants under the Package. Wines of WA has worked with each region to ensure alignment with the state package. We will continue to do so as the strategies are further developed and implemented to ensure we amplify results to the benefit of the fine wine regions of WA.

The completed state grant application package was submitted last week. On confirmation of receipt of the application, Grant Programs Manager Justin Ross commented, “terrific job”.

We would like to thank all who have contributed to the process and in particular note the expertise and work provided By Agknowledge who were commissioned by Wines of WA to complete the state grant application and provide support to regions as required.

See the one-page strategy summary for the application here.

Please email CEO Larry Jorgensen for further information at

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - Bio-Security Response

Live and dead stink bugs have been found in an imported container of electrical components from Italy in a warehouse in the Jandakot area.

The bug is a significant agricultural pest, however timely action indicates that the threat has been contained. The presence of the bugs was reported quickly to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources who treated the infested goods and fumigated the warehouse.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development  (DPIRD) is undertaking further surveillance adjacent to the warehouse and in surrounding areas, including visual checks and the use of specialised traps and lures.

DPIRD has issued a media statement which can be downloaded here.

Australian Vignerons response can be viewed here


Top Five Points about WET Reform

The new WET legislation will be enacted from the 2018 vintage, so wine producers need to be aware of their obligations now.

South Australian wine industry legal specialists, Finlaysons, have identified the key issues around the reform which are summarised below:

1.     New eligibility criteria for claiming producer rebates and new quoting/WET credit rules will apply to the 2018 vintage.

2.     New 85% ownership requirement will apply to 2017 and earlier vintages sold after 30 June 2023.

3.     Grapes purchased on a ‘retention of title’ basis will not satisfy the 85% ownership requirement.

4.     Supply chains involving multiple wholesalers may prevent producers claiming the rebate.

5.     Pooling of grapes will also likely prevent producers claiming the rebate.

Details around each of these points are contained in the document link here.

Producers seeking further assistance can get in touch with Tax and Revenue Partner at Finlaysons, Matthew Brittingham on 08 8235 7458.

Further information is also available at WFA website here

Successful Prescribed Burns a Collaborative Effort

The issue of smoke taint in wine grapes as been fraught for both land managers and the wine industry since around 2004 when research conclusively proved that smoky flavours in wine were directly attributable to bush fire smoke.

The issue has been particularly prevalent around the Pemberton area, where prescribed burns occur far later in the grape growing season than would typically occur in Margaret River or the Great Southern – forest fuels on Pemberton’s rich moist karri loams are generally not dry enough to burn until around January or February when post-veraison grapes are at their most vulnerable to absorbing smoke compounds.

A pro-active approach from Wines of Western Australia, regional wine associations, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Parks and Wildlife Service has been successful in creating processes to mitigate vineyard risks resulting from prescribed burns.  The processes involve collaboration and information exchange between the government agencies, stakeholders and the local shires, local fire brigades, and vineyard owners.

A recent prescribed burn around the Pemberton townsite which covered a large area of high fuel forest area, and bordered several local vineyards, was a case which highlighted that these processes are working. The Parks and Wildlife Service  prescribed  burn was undertaken in 20 year old forest fuel, and was completed successfully with no negative impact on neighbouring vineyards. It was conducted through extensive planning and discussion between the Parks and Wildlife Service and the Pemberton Wine Region Association.

President of the Association Ash Lewkowsky, said that the level of collaboration and consultation the department had with the wine industry in conducting the prescribed burn had been outstanding.

“We have now been invited to be part of the department’s planning process for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 prescribed burn program. We are really pleased to be part of the team effort to ensure the best outcomes for both our industry and the protection of the community,” he said.

The first step of the process involved Parks and Wildlife Service releasing its one and three year programs of prescribed burns maps to both the State and regional wine associations. Regions via their associations are then able to comment on the plan, identifying windows of opportunity and potential issues.

The regions in turn communicate with local fire officers to update on ripening progress and anticipated harvest dates, while Parks and Wildlife Service constantly monitors conditions for burning against potential impacts on the community and vineyards.

As vintage progresses, the regions update Parks and Wildlife Service on areas available for burning as grapes are harvested.

Regions also work with the local shires and bushfire brigades to advise them of the impact of other factors such as landholders conducting burns on private property.

Impact assessment is supported by use of up to date vineyard maps obtained through satellite imaging and subsequent ground truthing by field officers. The maps have been developed by DPIRD, which has also developed a Smoke Taint Risk Calculator. This online tool calculates the  percentage risk for any given vineyard based on temperature, climate and historic weather data. DPIRD can also run diagnostic tests to assess smoke compounds in the berries prior to harvest to help winemakers decide whether or not to make wine batches from those vineyards.

Prescribed burns are set to increase across the South West over the next few years in an effort to minimise the impacts of bushfires on local communities. Prescribed burning by the Parks and Wildlife Service has increased in recent years after a variety of factors had led to reduced programs over the previous decade. This in turn has resulted in a greater fuel load in some areas which will be further targeted in the prescribed burn program in 2018/2019 and future years.

Vineyard owners or managers who would like more information on prescribed burns and when they are taking place are encouraged get in touch in the first instance through their regional associations. Listed below.

Contact details as follows:

Department of Biosecurity, Conservation and Attractions:

Stefan Dehaan

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development:Glynn Ward

Wine Regions:

Wines of Western Australia:

The Swan Valley Winemakers Association:

Perth Hills Wine Region:

Peel Wine Association:

Geographe Wine Association:

Margaret River Wine:

Blackwood Valley Wine Industry Association:

Pemberton Wine Region Association:

Great Southern Wine Producers Association:



Good News for WA - Export Data Released

Wine Australia has released its latest export figures to December 2017. The report shows that the value of Australian wine exports grew by 15 per cent to $2.56 billion and volume increased by 8 per cent to 811 million litres.

Against the national figures, value growth in Western Australia was 8 per cent and volume growth 1 per cent. Much of this was driven by Margaret River, which saw a 14 per cent value growth, 10 per cent volume growth and an increase of 4 per cent average value per litre.

Growth was also driven by the Great Southern which was 3 per cent up by volume, 6 per cent up by value and 3 per cent up by average value per litre.

The growth in value and average value per litre is good news for WA producers, indicating further premiumisation in the export market, profitability and price stability.

Red wine dominated the WA export sector representing 72 per cent of the market by volume, which was an 11 per cent growth on the previous year. The news was not so good for white wine, which was down 10 per cent by volume. By value, reds were up 16 per cent and whites down 6 per cent.

Value per litre was up for both red and white wine, by 4 and 5 per cent respectively.

Most of the growth for WA was in price points above $7.50, in particular the super premium market which saw a 35 per cent increase in exports valued above $20 per litre. Red wine was almost totally responsible for this increase.

Western Australia’s top markets by both volume and value, in order, are China, United Kingdom, United States, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Exports to China were driven, predictably, by red wine with a 30 per cent volume increase, 38 per cent value increase and a 6 per cent average value per litre increase. Whites increased too by both volume (27 per cent) and value (11 per cent), however saw a drop of 12 per cent in average value per litre.

WA’s second most important market, the United States, saw an increase of 2 per cent in average value, however both whites and reds are down by volume (-15 per cent) and value (-13 per cent).

With the US increasing its premium imports, it continues to be an important target market for WA producers. All growth in US wine consumption was driven by imports which rose 9 per cent in volume and 8 per cent in value in the first nine months of 2017, according to the latest Gomberg-Fredrikson Report.