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Victorian winemakers bracing for decline as coronavirus hits wine exports

Australian winemakers are bracing for decreased sales as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Grape harvest is under way in Victoria’s vineyards but demand from the largest overseas buyer of Victorian wine, China, is down as a result of the virus.

Director of De Bortoli Wines, Leanne De Bortoli, said the effect is already being felt by the industry.

“I don’t know how long it’ll go for, we just have to continue on with business as usual,” she told 3AW’s Ross and John.

“The Chinese market is quite a large market for us.

“There’s been such a good response to Australian wines from the Chinese, and also on the back of that with a lot of Chinese visitors who come out to Australia.”

Ms De Bortoli said tourist numbers are noticeably down in the Yarra Valley.

“Certainly in the lead up to Chinese New Year, where we would normally get a lot of visitors coming out, there was a noticeable decline in the numbers,” she said.

“For tourism it has been a difficult time, on the back of the fires as well and now with the impact of coronavirus.”

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