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Reforms bear fruit on innovation front

Taelor PeluseyBusselton Dunsborough Times
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam, Redmond Sweeny and Tony Davis at the cellar door opening.
Camera IconVasse MLA Libby Mettam, Redmond Sweeny and Tony Davis at the cellar door opening. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

Last year’s Statewide liquor reforms have started bearing fruit, with WA’s first “satellite cellar door” in Wilyabrup expected to pave the way for further industry innovation.

Wines of WA chairman Redmond Sweeny and business partner Tony Davis opened the cellar door to their wine company, Snake + Herring, in Wilyabrup last Thursday night.

The company sources grapes from across the State, including nine Margaret River vineyards, and utilises a local contract winemaking service.

Sara and Cath Williams with Louise Marques and Alli Flynn.
Camera IconSara and Cath Williams with Louise Marques and Alli Flynn. Credit: Taelor Pelusey

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Until last year’s changes to the Liquor Control Act, the business was not permitted to operate a cellar door.

However, with recent reforms, winemakers can now open a cellar door away from the producing premises.

Mr Sweeny told the Times a satellite cellar door provided new inroads to the wine market and said the “refreshing reform” would allow “enormous opportunities”.

“We don’t sell our wine to Coles and Woolworths and they are 75 per cent of the market,” he said.

Rohan Hayhow, Ray and Donna Codalonga, and Jane Heaven.
Camera IconRohan Hayhow, Ray and Donna Codalonga, and Jane Heaven.
Rohan Hayhow, Ray and Donna Codalonga, and Jane Heaven.
Camera IconRohan Hayhow, Ray and Donna Codalonga, and Jane Heaven.

WA’s peak wine body and Vasse MLA Libby Mettam expect the liquor reforms to promote industry innovation.

Wines of WA chief executive Larry Jorgensen said the satellite cellar door was a positive step forward for wine producers, and would have a flow-on effect for tourism.

Caroline Rolfe and Mandy Fancote.
Camera IconCaroline Rolfe and Mandy Fancote.

“It’s very positive … and supportive of wine producers in the regions, and tourism operators as well.”

Caroline Rolfe and Mandy Fancote.
Camera IconCaroline Rolfe and Mandy Fancote.

Mrs Mettam said the satellite cellar door would inspire businesses to consider the flexible ways in which they could now operate.

Among a raft of recommendations made to the 2013 liquor review, Wines of WA called for fewer restrictions on producer licences, and sales limits and locations.

Mrs Mettam said the “sophistication” of the new laws added to the vibrancy of Perth, and pointed to Busselton Jetty’s plan for wine and cheese sunset tours as another example of how businesses would benefit from the “common sense” liquor reforms.

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