Winery forecasts export growth

AWARD-winning Australian wine manufacturer Cassegrain Wines forecasts that its exports to China will double this year, according to managing director John Cassegrain.

Cassegrain Wines' export markets include New Zealand, China, Japan and countries across Europe.

Mr Cassegrain said exports from the Port Macquarie-based winery now represent more than 35 per cent of total revenue.

"Our focus on innovative local wine manufacturing and skills development has resulted in Cassegrain Wines continuing to achieve strong growth across various global markets, particularly throughout Asia," Mr Cassegrain explained.

"Our largest market continues to be Japan, where we have been selling our products since 1987, in restaurants and hotels and selling to commuters on board the country's renowned high-speed bullet trains.

"In fact, over the past 12 months, we have achieved a 10 per cent growth in sales, mainly due to the ongoing strong demand for our premium wines.

"We have also experienced strong demand for our products in China, where we launched last year, in association with locally-based company Coast 2 Coast.

"This year's 400-tonne vintage is larger than last season which we expect will enable us to double our exports into the Chinese market."

Meanwhile, Cassegrain Wines will provide free tours at Cassegrain Winery at 2pm every weekday. 

The aim of these tours is to learn the winemaking process, and see how a medium-sized winery works (yet still the biggest in the Hastings), said chief winemaker and managing director John Cassegrain.

"This is a great opportunity for us to showcase what's behind the scenes," Mr Cassegrain said.

"I hope to give the public a better understanding of what goes into the product they purchase from our cellar door.

"We are really looking forward to some positive feedback."

Tours include learning about the winery itself, and why it is the only winery in the Hastings that can produce sparkling wine properly, followed up by a wine tasting in the cellar, in which visitors use their new knowledge to detect the difference in wine styles and grape varieties. 

Cassegrain Wines reminds visitors that enclosed shoes must be worn on all tours.

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