The first dedicated Margaret River wines retail and wholesale outlet opened in China last month.
This is believed to be a world first for a wine region—to have its own dedicated store in another country—and there are 10 more planned with many more over the years ahead.
It is a wonderful initiative for the 40 wineries involved.
As members from all sides of the chamber will know, the Margaret River region is home to some of the finest wines in the world, with people travelling far and wide to taste wines from our internationally renowned region.
Now the wines will be directly available to customers in China—brands such as Watershed Wines, Cape Grace, Flametree, Wills Domain, Happs, Deep Woods, Churchview Estate, Hay Shed Hill, McHenry Hohnen, Forester, Edwards, Amelia Park, Arlewood, Ashbrook and Woodlands—driven in partnership with the iconic Watershed Premium Wines, as I mentioned.
This arrangement was nine months in the making and I congratulate everyone involved, including Geoff Barrett, from Watershed Wines, and the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association.
The $9.7 million I secured to upgrade the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport to international standard and freight is transformative for the South West.
This will facilitate these exports of wine from our region, and our free trade agreements with China, South Korea, Japan and Singapore will be front and centre for all of those businesses in my part of the South West of Western Australia.