What do you think are the biggest issues and opportunities facing the industry?
I've always felt that regional wineries are a key economic driver for country Victoria. As the former Tourism Minister, I introduced Victoria's Winery Tourism Council and appointed the Chair.
The Victorian Government subsequently funded the marketing and promotion, including tourism material that publicised various regions, their wine, accommodation and other tourism attractions. I still am passionate about the role the wine industry plays in regional economic development and tourism.
What's something that you would like to share about yourself?
My wife and I have a small vineyard at Nagambie. There are 9,000 walnut trees and some broad acre cropping.
What's your favourite wine, region or wine related activity? Why?
My favourite wines are full-bodied reds from central Victoria. My favourite wine-related activity is a rowing event called 'Head of the Goulburn' (I'm a rowing tragic - a rower for 50 years and President of Rowing Australia for nine years). Each October, this rowing event is run on the Goulburn River from Nagambie to Tahbilk Winery, where hundreds of rowers paddle up the Goulburn and at the finish enjoy local wines, food and a jazz band.
About the Hon. Patrick McNamara
Patrick McNamara is a former Deputy Premier who served as a Member of the Victorian Parliament from 1982 to 2000. Portfolios included Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Tourism and Minister for Agriculture and Resources.
Patrick serves on several boards giving strategic advice to public and private companies. Key positions have included President of Rowing Australia, Trustee of the MCG and Chair of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund.