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Connecting local winemakers with international buyers

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Against a backdrop of celebrity chefs and mouth-watering menus, the South West Development Commission worked to tempt the tastebuds of international buyers who scoured the region over the Margaret River Gourmet Escape weekend seeking out local wine to import.

The State Government agency, through the TradeStart program and in partnership with a wide range of government and industry stakeholders including Austrade, organised for a group of buyers from China and South Korea to visit the region during the high-profile foodie festival.

The timing of the delegation's visit allowed the region to be showcased when its wine and food were being celebrated in the international spotlight, helping to bring alive the internationally-renowned Margaret River brand.

Over five days, the trade delegation sampled first-hand what the region has to offer, visiting wineries and meeting winemakers, as well as taking part in the Margaret River Gourmet Escape and fiftieth anniversary celebrations of the Margaret River wine region.

A highlight was a trade tasting event at Caves House Hotel on Friday November 17 that was opened by Federal Member for Forest Nola Marino and Margaret River Wine Association chairperson Barry House.

The event, which connected local wineries to the buyers, was preceded by a presentation from Austrade state director Tom Calder on the Korea-Australia and China-Australia free trade agreements.

SWDC acting chief executive officer Rebecca Ball said the Commission's trade team continued to work to create outcomes for businesses in the region.

"This was a terrific opportunity to place local buyers in direct contact with South West winemakers with the view to facilitating export deals for local wineries," she said.

"SWDC is contracted by the Australian Trade Commission to deliver Austrade's TradeStart services and, over the years, we have found it beneficial to bring delegates and locals together.

"The trade tasting at Yallingup, for example, was a great platform for forming potential business partnerships."

The moving annual total for Margaret River wine exports stood at $31.5 million in September.

China represents the biggest market for Margaret River wine, generating $7.4 million in exports.

The visit was carried out in partnership with Austrade and Wine Australia, and supported by the Margaret River Wine Association and Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association.

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