The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has hosted an online virtual wine master class with a group of 22 wine industry professionals from Tokyo.
The 90-minute video conferencing service tasting was a pilot initiative, also supported by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, Austrade, Tradestart advisers from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA and the South West Development Commission.
Manager of Primary Industries Trade at DPIRD, I-Lyn Loo (pictured) said it was the first time a virtual international marketing strategy of this type had been used by the Department to engage with export markets.
“The COVID-19 movement restrictions have created the opportunity to explore fresh approaches to capturing market attention,” Ms Loo said.
“The Japanese wine industry was intrigued by the concept of a virtual master class from the start and was more than happy to participate in the online gathering.”
She said Japanese industry figures provided great feedback on the concept “which we will use to refine the process so it can be extended to other markets and products”.
Two Margaret River chardonnays, Woodlands and McHenry Hohnen, were featured in the master class for participants to sample and discuss.
Ms Loo said good cultural appreciation was the key to the success of the master class.
“We worked closely with the WA Government’s in-market representatives to ensure the gathering was hosted according to Japanese cultural expectations, with great respect and sensitivity,” she said.
“While cultural appreciation is central to international marketing, more complexities are encountered when doing business online via a virtual format, where physical and communication nuances are curtailed.”
She said the Department continued to collaborate with industry on new business models to market the State’s produce in the current and post COVID-19 operating environment.
“We are also working with partners to explore a new virtual approach to market WA produce to Dubai,” Ms Loo said.