Funding boost for King Valley wine businesses

24 Jan 2018 Wangaratta Chronicle, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Anita Mcpherson FOUR King Valley wineries will share in $50,000 of funding towards projects designed to increase wine tourism and cellar door sales, in round two of funding from the State Governments Wine Growth Fund. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) made the announcement yesterday during a visit to Dal Zotto Wines in Whitfield, accompanied by Shadow Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Australia, Lisa Chesters (MHR, Bendigo). The pair met with members of Wines of the King Valley to share the news and discuss issues affecting the local industry, including the looming battle over the use of the name of the popular Italian varietal Prosecco, and upcoming Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations. The projects to be funded include Dal Zotto Wines vineyard floor management initiative to reduce environmental impact by changing vineyard practices, Darling Estate Winerys redevelopment of their website to increase online sales, Pizzini Wines renovation of tobacco kilns for an artist in residence program and pop-up shop for artisan producers, and plans by Sam Miranda of King Valley to develop a space for a cooking school and function area including a wood fired pizza oven. The individual businesses will match the grants received through the Wine Growth Fund. The State Government is also working with the Wines of the King Valley on the development of the King Valley Prosecco Road Plan to develop a business case and blueprint. Ms Symes said the growing popularity of Prosecco as a fashionable drink made the time right to support local producers now and for the future. Its probably one of the greatest opportunities to grow the region in terms of the economy, visitor attractions and job creation, she said. The grants will be spent on production improvements so they can become more economical themselves, marketing and tourism attractions and export exploration. Ms Symes said the wine industry was receiving the support in recognition of its significance to Victorias economy, employing nearly 13,000 people and contributing $7.6 billion to the economy. She said after meeting with King Valley winemakers and producers she was confident that economical contribution was certain to rise, particularly with the emergence of Prosecco. Partnering with them is not just important in terms of helping the winemakers, its about improving the tourism industry and creating jobs, which is why were interested as a government, she said. Sam Miranda from Sam Miranda Wines said the grant would be put towards the creation of a dedicated space to accommodate a growing interest in authentic food preparation such as sausage making. He welcomed the grant, saying it would support the businesses continuing growth, particularly in the restaurant side of the business, while drawing even more visitors to the area as a whole. Caption Text: GROWTH INDUSTRY: King Valley winemakers John Darling (with Jaclyn Symes), Sam Miranda and Natalie Pizzini salute the success of Prosecco and the King Valley, at Dal Zotto Wines yesterday. PHOTO: Anita McPherson Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.