Victorian wine producers will have more say on criteria for grants after being invited to take part in consultation on a state government $10 million Wine Tourism and Cellar Door Grant program.
Landsborough’s Glenkara vineyard owner Ian O’Brien said the announcement would help bolster the wine industry in the state.
“Anything to help the industry has got to be a good thing,” he said.
“Especially for tourism, it overflows into other smaller businesses and helps keep the money local.”
The move would see eligible producers able to access an annual grant of up to $100,000 per annum for their eligible sales.
Mr O’Brien said it was a sign winemakers were starting to see some recognition for their efforts.
“Years ago many people got on the bandwagon and started planting vines to make a quick buck, but they are all gone now and the ones left have been through the hard times, we are growing good fruit and selling good wine,” he said.
“The industry is getting better and better, the Chinese are interested in the Pyrenees shiraz, it is great recognition.”
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Anne Ruston said Australia’s wine industry was one of the nation’s signature export industries.
“It also makes an important contribution to tourism, particularly in regional areas,” she said.
“It is even one of the only agriculture-based industries where the majority of the value chain is located in Australia.”
The value of Australian wine exports increased by seven per cent to $2.22 billion in 2016.
“It is important that this success continues to deliver economic and social benefits in the regions where these products originate by supporting producers’ cellar doors in attracting visitors,” Ms Ruston said.
“These grants will go a long way in helping achieve that.”
The announcement comes ahead of the Grampians Grape Escape, which is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the region on May 6-7.