Winemakers in the Manjimup Shire have been given a boost thanks to the shire council’s sister city relationship with Jiashan County in China.
Following the shire council delegation’s recent visit to the sister city, Pemberton’s Lost Lake Winery has brokered their first international deal with a Chinese distributor, and on August 20 their first shipment of one container, or 1200 cases of wine, will be exported.
Lost Lake wine maker Katie Masters said it was a fantastic opportunity for all vineyards and wineries in the region.
‘‘It’s really a foot in the door to the Chinese market and that’s thanks to the council’s sister city relationship,’’ Ms Masters said.
‘‘We will be providing two wines to the distributor, our Pemberton Red which will be their premium red. It looks like it will be the 2011 at this stage.
‘‘And in a joint venture with Woodgate Wines, a Manjimup winery, we will be making a Shiraz Cabernet Merlot blend.’’
Ms Masters said Australia’s wine industry had been in trouble recently, so it was nice to see a new market opening up in China.
‘‘Through this we will hope to build a relationship with the distributor, and see if they will be looking to ncrease volume in the future,’’ she said.
‘‘There are also further opportunities to be had in Singapore and other parts of Asia.’’
Manjimup Shire Council president Wade DeCampo said from his andthe shire council’s point of view it was a wonderful opportunity for the region’s winemakers.
‘‘If the industry itself takes this opportunity as far as it can, it could in the future turn from one container into 10 or 20,’’ Cr De Campo said.
‘‘The distributor involved in the deal moves 300,000 cases of wine per year so this is really testing the waters, but it will enable a focus on premium export wines in the future.’’
A report outlining the delegation’s visit will be present to the council at the meeting to be held in Manjimup on Thursday July 26.The council will decide at the meeting whether to formalise the Sister City relationship with Jiashan County.