Wine pro­ducer to rep­re­sent re­gion

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page - War­ren Hately

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.

Pic­ture: De­clan Bush

Mar­garet River wine pro­ducer Cath Oates has joined the board of Wine Aus­tralia.

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