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Monday, April 12, 2021

Raise a glass to Aussie wine: Littleproud

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud is encouraging Aussie wine lovers to look closer to home and buy Australian product this holiday season.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce determined last month that Australian exporters had been dumping wine into its market, prompting Beijing to controversially slap tariffs – some up to 212% – on our nation’s producers, effective immediately.

The decision was widely panned, including in the Canberra Wine Region, which boasts dozens of world-class wineries.

The NSW Wine Industry Association (NSW Wine) also claimed the stance would make the state’s wines unaffordable overseas.

“The repercussions from a significant loss in an export market as big as China will be felt across the whole sector,” president Mark Bourne said at the time.

“It’ll put more pressure on many family-owned and run NSW wineries and vineyards alongside the regional communities they live and work in.”

Mr Littleproud admitted the industry needed “local” support more than ever, particularly over the Christmas-New Year period.

“Aussie vineyards and winemakers have had a tough year with smoke taint from the bushfires, lack of tourists because of COVID-19 and trade tensions,” he said.

“A vibrant wine industry is vital for supporting our rural and regional economies.

“We grow the grapes, pick the grapes, crush the grapes, blend and bottle the wine right here.

“It is a perfect example of a thriving Australian industry.

“We are the sixth largest wine producer in the world, and the fifth largest wine exporter, with two-thirds of Australian wine exported adding $2.84 billion to the economy in 2019-20.

“Australian wine is a great addition to the dinner table year-round, but especially at Christmas.

“It also makes a perfect gift to be enjoyed by friends and family.

“Every bottle of Australian wine sold makes a world of difference to producers feeling the pinch.

“I urge wine drinkers to drink responsibly and enjoy the best wine in the world [this Christmas].”

If you’re a wine lover, post a photo of you enjoying a great Australian wine with food, family and friends, using the hashtag #chooseaustralianwine.

Rod Thompson

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