RIVERLAND Wine has outlined its priorities ahead of the state election next week, with the industry body calling for export, tourism and production support from the incoming government.
The long-established, warm climate region extends for 330 kms along the Murray River and is the largest Australian wine region by size, number of growers (936), volume of crush (30.3 percent), and wine grape varieties (85).
The region's annual crush value is estimated to be $272,787,575 which includes Cabernet Sauvignon valued at $46,093,008 and Shiraz $85,814,401.
Executive officer Lyndall Rowe said the body was looking help to reshape, repair and restructure the wine region's product mix to meet international demand in new markets ahead of the shipping crisis easing.
"What needs to happen is we need to transition to product diversity, we need to upskill for market growth, we need improved environmental accountability and we need to look at adopting new and environmental approaches to viticulture - which are crucial to the region's future economic prosperity and community well being," she said.
"From the government, we're looking for export support that focuses on producers in a commercial market in addition to existing export markets support.
"Secondly, we're looking for support for grape growers to adapt production to changing international market trends and taste in wine, wine products and tourism."
Ms Rowe said the body hoped for $750,000 in 2023 and $750,000 in 2024 for export marketing support, with a further $500,000 requested to support local producers to undertake targeted marketing activities in international markets.
"The level of support will accelerate the recovery of the region's economic, environmental and key and community status," she said.
"The $500,000 is really looking to help the region's smaller producers and really helping them to prepare for international market success.
"We're also asking for around $200,000 dollar-for-dollar funding to specifically focus on the underdeveloped food and wine tourism assets across the region.
"Additionally, we applaud the government's stand on low or no alcohol wines.
"So we're seeking dollar for dollar matching for the government for grafting vines over to new varietals in line with changing market tastes and demand.
"That looks like white wine, for example, Mediterranean varieties, alternate varieties, and of course low or no alcohol."
In terms of biosecurity and water, the body is interested in collaborating with other agencies and institutions to keep on top of the issue as a united front.
"VineHealth have been instrumental in the protection and monitoring of the region for fruit fly and phylloxera incursions," Ms Rowe said.
"So we do encourage the state government to continue to support VineHealth with its funding for modernisation initiatives.
"We also encourage the government to continue to support the Goyder Institute and to provide $150,000 of funding for a water security study - that's to help all South Australian regions that are dependent on the Murray Darling Basin."
Although these issues have been outlined to relevant parties, Ms Rowe said the body was still waiting for them to be addressed ahead of the election.
"We hope to see support for this from the incoming government," she said.
"Whether it's at the state election now or into the budget that will be announced down the track."
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