SEVERAL King Valley wineries are the recipients of Victorian Government support to help boost visitations to the region, increase exports and support local jobs.
Wine producers Pizzini, Brown Brothers, Dal Zotto and Politini have all been successful in securing grants collectively worth $115,000, part of $2 million in funding delivered across 78 projects statewide.
The four wineries’ projects range from upgrading a visitor focused venue, the transformation of a cellar into a wine tasting lounge, development of infrastructure to cope with the high demand for Prosecco production, and the development of a new cellar door and café.
Alfred Pizzini said they will use their $20,000 grant to enhance some of their current tourism experiences and build new tourism offerings at the cellar door.
“Many visitors to the King Valley wineries love the fact that they can taste both wines and produce that isn’t available in any other wine region around Australia such as being able to sample 20 year old Nebbiolo wines made from King Valley fruit, Rocky Prosecco Road and new release Italian wine varieties from barrel,” Mr Pizzini said.
“We will be using the Wine Growth Fund grant to further build on being able to provide a tourism experience which differentiates us from other wine regions.
“The Wine Growth Fund has allowed for many winery operators around Victoria to invest in new tourism infrastructure or enhance current infrastructure so as to keep our industry competitive with wine regions around Australia and the world.
“It is fabulous for the King Valley that four producers had successful grant applications, especially if the result is increased visitation to the region, everyone will benefit in some way.”
Brown Brothers Family Wine Group was also successful in securing $20,000 to have the current family cellar transformed into a premium wine tasting lounge.
“This will offer visitors the chance to sample some rare premium vintages dating back to the 1950s,” BBFWG cellar door manager, Darren Vincent, said.
“We don’t want to overdo the refurbishment because we want to make sure we enhance the history of the cellar which could be used for private functions.”
The project will see the complete interior fit-out including flooring, new entrance door, lighting throughout, installation of a fully plumbed service area, wine display rakes and units and premium furnishings.
Victorian Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture Jaclyn Symes visited James and Co winery in Rutherglen last week to announce Wine Growth Fund recipients.
She said the fund is expected to provide a boost of around $12 million to the wine industry across the state with projects including cellar doors, kitchen and cafe upgrades, wine production facility developments, e-commerce programs, accommodation initiatives and vineyard improvement works.
By Steve Kelly, Wangaratta Chronicle
Photo: Katrina and Alfred Pizzini plan to build on new tourism offerings at the cellar door of their Whitfield winery. Photo by Mel Guy.