Funding boost for High Country wine industry

23 Nov 2016 Mansfield Courier, Mansfield VIC (General News) by David Mims WINERIES across Victorias High Country will benefit from a $50,000 State Government Wine Growth Fund grant secured by Tourism North East (TNE). The grant was announced last week by Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria). In a press release from TNE, it said the funding will enable TNE, in partnership with member councils and the six wine regions of the High Country, to undertake extensive research into consumer trends and behaviours around winery and cellar door tourism. The grant matches the $50,000 that TNE has committed to the research. The project, already under way and continuing throughout 2017, will involve all 84 operating cellar doors region-wide and provide much-needed insights and education within the sector to ensure the ongoing strength of the High Countrys wine industry. This research and development (R&D) grant will give the local wineries and us valuable insights into the wine tourism sector, chief executive officer of TNE, Amber Gardner, said. It will tell us who our consumers are, provide an insight into the market segmentation, and better understand the attitudes and experiences of the wine tourist market in the North East. Ms Gardner went on to explain that the research will be used to improve winery operations, drive innovation and growth, and determine if the wine offering in the region is meeting consumer expectations. The research project will involve on-site intercept surveys at various wineries, and the engagement of an external R&D supplier to run a series of focus groups in Melbourne to gather qualitative and quantitative data. The $50,000 grant to TNE is on top of a total of $234,000 awarded to a number of individual High Country wineries to support a range of initiatives including export, infrastructure, marketing and research. The Wine Growth Fund has acknowledged the importance of the winery sector to the High Country by awarding 13 different businesses in this region with grant funding, Ms Gardner said. This latest announcement means that in the last fortnight, TNE has secured $640,000 in grant funding to progress strategic regional tourism efforts, which is a great achievement for both the organisation and for the region, she said. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.