Wine producer to represent region
Former Margaret River Wine Association president Cath Oates will represent the region on the board of Wine Australia.
Last week, the Oates End owner was named to the new board, which has overview of the national industry, including management of its $50 million export and regional wine support program.
Oates told the Times the specific qualities of Margaret River’s varied wine output were central to her focus through the directorship appointment.
“I strongly believe that the more we are connected and engaged, the stronger the region will be, and by default, the industry as a whole,” she said. “The new board is a reflection of the true diversity of Australian wine.
“I’m very happy to be bringing not just my experience of being a small fine-wine producer from a geographically isolated region but also my international winemaking background and learnings while chairing both the MRWA and Great Southern Wine Producers since being back in WA.” MRWA chief executive Amanda Whiteland said the new role was “terrific news” for the region.
“Cath will represent smaller producers — boutique regions producing lower volumes of highvalue fine wines,” Ms Whiteland said. The appointment comes as Margaret River producers eye formalisation of sub-regions, starting with a push from Wilyabrup growers.
While Oates is a Wilyabrup-based vintner, as well as an experienced wine show judge, she told the Times her focus was on Margaret River as a whole on the national and international stage.
Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud saluted the five new appointments.
“They'll be working hard to increase returns to Australian wine producers by growing local and overseas markets and upholding the industry’s reputation,” he said.
Mr Littleproud said the Australian wine industry had set an “ambitious target” to boost wine exports to $3.5 billion and attract 40,000 extra international tourists Australia’s wine regions in the next three years.
Margaret River wine producer Cath Oates has joined the board of Wine Australia.