A united Clare Valley force

Clare Valley Winemakers Inc chairperson Andrew Pike and Clare Region Wine Grapegrowers Association president Troy van Dulken.

Clare Valley Winemakers Inc chairperson Andrew Pike and Clare Region Wine Grapegrowers Association president Troy van Dulken.

Following two years of discussions and consultation, a vote was formally passed this week to amalgamate Clare Valley Winemakers Incorporated and Clare Region Winegrape Growers Association.

The poll to amalgamate was passed with more than an 80 per cent majority at each meeting.

Strong attendance reflected the engagement and commitment of the local wine industry to work together.

CVWI chair Andrew Pike said amalgamation would be a positive step forward for the Clare Valley wine region.

“It makes sense to have one cohesive body in the Clare Valley, such that we are all working together on a common strategic plan for the wine industry of the region,” he said.

“This new beginning can create the opportunity to not only share the load across the whole regional wine economy, but also to lift the bar by leveraging all our collective resources and harnessing the best people and ideas to chart a new course to forge a new identity for the region.

“With the current optimism in regional wine and tourism sectors, and the imminent funding from the federal government’s restructured WET legislation, the time is right time for the Clare Valley wine industry to unite.”

CRWGA president Troy van Dulken said he saw the merger as an opportunity for grape growers to work more closely with winemakers in the region and to share in the benefits of the marketing and promotion of “brand Clare”.

“Importantly, this new era for the region needs to result in greater value from viticulture itself… and from the product which it produces,” he said. Former Treasury Wines Estates chief supply officer, global wine production, Stuart McNab takes chairmanship of the new organisation following the completion of incorporation formalities.