$5.4m programme will grow SA wine exports

Paul Heinicke, Managing Director of Soul Growers, Tanunda is pleased the State Government is supporting the wine industry.

A new $5.4 million wine market expansion programme to support South Australian wineries to diversify into new markets, grow sales of premium wine across the globe, and create more jobs has been welcomed by Barossa wineries.

Premier Steven Marshall said the State Government funded programme will aggressively drive South Australian wine exports in the US, UK, Canada and other key markets.

“This new programme will support the South Australian wine sector while also helping to sustain and create jobs,” Premier Marshall said.

“We’re providing strong support to South Australian wine exporters who have been affected by serious challenges over the last year, including market access issues, international border closures due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and bushfires.

“Through this new wine export recovery and expansion programme, we’re supporting wine businesses to expand business-to-business opportunities for new-to-market companies, brand promotion, wine education and international trade visits, when travel is permitted.”

Managing Director of Soul Growers for the past 11 years, Paul Heinicke said whilst his operations are not impacted by the Chinese tariffs on Australian wine exports as much they would have been a couple of years ago before they changed distributors, he welcomed the government’s support for the wine sector as it navigated the fallout. 

 “We were lucky, it didn’t affect any current business, but any new business we are obviously not going to get anymore, along with everybody else,” Paul told The Leader.

“I’m happy something is being done.”
He was yet to hear about the finer details of the expansion programme to see how smaller wineries would benefit and what on-going support there would be.

“We’d look into whether it actually applies to us and, in some cases, it is competitive to get certain funding,” Paul said.

“The first initiative is a US market entry programme [delivered by Wine Australia] which you pay something like $12,500 to get into and then they say they’ll fund 50% for 15 wineries  –  that’s out of how many wineries in South Australia?”

Having lived in the US for five years, Paul said that particular market was like working with 50 countries which is difficult for smaller wineries.

“$5.4m to promote South Australian wine into the US market alone is like a drop in the ocean….how you actually go about the promotion is the key part,” Paul said.

“In smaller places like Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore they do know the Barossa but the US, being such a large market, it’s just ‘Australia’.

“The detail is what you really need to look at to see how it impacts us.”

Paul acknowledged the work of the Barossa Grape and Wine Association (BGWA).

“We need more work on the brand [Barossa] and that’s what they are doing through the BGWA – they are expanding our education and having ambassadors across the world to do that,” Paul said.

“They focussed heavily on China but now they are doing that in other countries. 

“Spreading the risk is what we need to do and having the ability to go into lots of different markets to spread that risk is a good thing. If we can do that through the Barossa Wine School and other initiatives it will be fantastic.”

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