Region’s wine exports boom

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Wine Industry Southern Forests Inc. president Ashley Lewkowski said wine exports have been a boon for the Southern Forests region over the past year.
Camera IconWine Industry Southern Forests Inc. president Ashley Lewkowski said wine exports have been a boon for the Southern Forests region over the past year. Credit: Holly Thompson

Wine exports have been a boon for the Southern Forests region over the past year with an increase of almost 50 per cent in both volume and average value per litre.

Information released by Wine Australia last week highlighted the volume of wine exported increased by 49 per cent in Pemberton and the average value of wine per litre in Manjimup increased by 49 per cent.

Wine Industry Southern Forests Inc. president Ashley Lewkowski said the growth was more than previous years, due to an increase in exports to China and the United States.

“The region has done really well over the past financial year in terms of the value of our wines in the export market,” he said.

“China seems to be a large aspect of this, they are taking in a lot more WA wines and seem to be willing to pay for this wine too, which is really promising. I would say the majority of wine from this region is heading to China, with a substantial amount also going to America.”

Mr Lewkowski said the increase on last year’s export numbers was a great asset to the region’s growers.

“For the Pemberton wine region the volume of wine exported has increased and the average price is also quite high, at about $9.73 per litre, which is a lot more than the national average of about $4,” he said.

“This price per litre is actually 7 per cent down on last year.”

He said in Manjimup the opposite was true, with an increase in price on last year but a decrease in volume.

“The two areas are getting closer together in terms of exports, beforehand there was quite a big discrepancy between the two regions,” he said.

“I think this has a lot to do with the efforts of the international wine tourism grant which is now starting to be put to use.”

The grant of $150,000 was awarded to the region about six months ago, but it had taken Wine Industry Southern Forests Inc. a while to decide how to best use the money, he said.

“We will be spending this money on marketing and promoting our region for tourism and so over the next 12 months we will hopefully see an increase in tourism with the wineries,” he said.

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