Wine delegates wooed

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Wine buyer James Zichterman and Wine Australia’s US-based head of marketing Aaron Ridgway.
Camera IconWine buyer James Zichterman and Wine Australia’s US-based head of marketing Aaron Ridgway. Credit: Busselton Dunsborough Times, Taelor Pelusey

Capes cabernets and chardonnays could have a bright future in the world’s most important wine market after a successful trade visit from North American delegates last Friday.

The group of wine buyers from the US and a journalist/consultant from Canada were hosted by Wine Australia at venues across the Margaret River region last week in a bid to increase the exposure of the region’s wines.

Wine Australia’s US-based head of marketing for the Americas, Aaron Ridgway, told the Times cabernets and chardonnays were a “shining example” of the Margaret River region’s offerings and said they were warmly received by the visitors.

“This was about education, sharing knowledge,” he said.

“We want to give them all the right tools to go back and ... possibly make some changes to their offerings.”

The group tasted wines from a variety of producers at Caves House and joined in a cabernet masterclass at Vasse Felix and a chardonnay masterclass at Leeuwin Estate.

Ahead of the group’s visit, Mr Ridgway said local producers were making inroads to the US, widely considered the most important wine market in the world.

According to recent figures, the US is now Australia’s second-biggest wine market behind China, with exports to the US up 3 per cent to $458 million in 2016.

The visit was convened in collaboration with the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, the South West Development Commission, and the Margaret River Wine Association.

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