Friday, 05 June 2015 00:00

Message from the Chair - Damien Sheehan

One week on from the Victorian Government's Meet the Winemaker trade mission, I imagine industry members are revisiting their leads, as the sometimes confronting stage of forging new international business relationships begins.

After speaking with a range of regions involved in the program, there was certainly a consensus of promise and potential based on the interest of the buyers who were keen to see our wine and left impressed by the industry's promised diversity and leadership.

It has been a long time since I have seen the united and powerful force of the Victorian Wine industry under the same roof strutting our stuff.

Set against the stunning Melbourne skyline at sunset, the showcase was clearly the place for strong connections to be made between our winemaking talent and Melbourne's world renowned culture.

Regional visits were also clearly a demonstration of our competitive advantage as the natural vistas did a fair share of the talking. One producer commented "as I saw one delegate lying in the grass staring up at the blue sky, it was clear that pouring the wine and being ourselves was part of a good strategy".

The various networking opportunities (check out our gallery), highlighted that certain markets are of particular interest to our state's exporters. Japan, Korea and China are big contenders as many of us look to reap the Free Trade Agreement benefits.

Others have expressed an interest in ramping up their export offerings into different state across North America. Elsewhere it is about discovering new opportunities in traditional markets.

Whatever part of the globe you're looking to target, I wish you all the best in the crucial follow-up stage. The times have certainly been tough and I know that the future for the Victorian wine industry certainly looks promising.

On behalf of the Wine Victoria Board, I would like to congratulate the Victorian Government on their substantial efforts in pulling this Showcase together.

Our new Minister for Agriculture The Hon. Jaala Pulford has demonstrated an overwhelming interest in working in partnership with the industry, and what a start!

Equally to the Victorian producers involved, you did a superb job delivering on the message that Victoria truly is home to the world's best wine offering.