Funding boost for wine projects to grow Vic industry

State government's Wine Growth Fund boost to local wine industry


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JUICING: Craig Mitchell and John Harris with grapes to be used for their winemaking program at Mitchell Harris Wines. Photo: Luka Kauzlaric

JUICING: Craig Mitchell and John Harris with grapes to be used for their winemaking program at Mitchell Harris Wines. Photo: Luka Kauzlaric

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Victoria splashes the cash to help the local drops.

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A CASH injection of $10,000 helped Mitchell Harris Wine Bar to upgrade equipment for their production and wine education courses and kick-start the “adventure” of wine for scores of visitors to the region.

Mitchell Harris Wines’ John Harris said that investment, from the second round of the Victorian government’s Wine Growth Fund, would boost the wine industry through increased visitation, consumption, jobs and market building.

“It’s allowed us to create a bit of a showpiece for visitors to see we are not just a bar in town, we are wine makers and wine educators which is really high on our list of priorities,” said Mitchel Harris Wines’ John Harris.

“They can learn and maybe start their adventure – kick start a trip to the Pyrenees or Grampians and we can encourage people to stay and visit other wineries and areas.”

Regional Development minister Jaala Pulford will visit Mitchell Harris Wine Bar recently to announce a third round of funding and expansion of the Wine Growth Fund.

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“The Wine Growth Fund has successfully supported more than 100 projects to help grow Victoria’s wine industry and the we’re proud to announce a third round of this program,” Ms Pulford said.

The fund provides grants for activities including marketing, exporting, tourism and business development in the Victorian wine industry.

Ms Pulford also announced the fund’s guidelines had been changed so infrastructure projects that attract significant investment and create new jobs could be eligible for grants up to $100,000.

The first two rounds of the fund supported 106 projects with about $1.9 million.

Ms Pulford said the early funding had created new jobs in the wine industry, driven increased visitation to Victoria’s wineries, and increased sales and exports of local wines.

“Victorian winemakers produce beautiful wines for every occasion, taste preference and price point and we’re keen to support them on the world stage and closer to home,” she said.

“The wine industry contributes over $7.6 billion to Victoria’s economy and directly employs more than 13,000 people in grape growing, wine making, cellar door sales and hospitality operations – that’s why the Victorian Government is investing in its future.”

Mr Harris hoped the increase in funding would encourage collaborations between wineries, regions and other businesses.

“It’s really great news. Regions like the Ballarat, the Pyrenees and Grampians are a tiny part of the wine growing world and we need to work collaboratively to make noise and show our wares,” he said.

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