Monthly Archives: February 2012

Debate @ the Waite, 15th of March, 2012

“The future of the Australian wine industry

will be based on technology, not tradition”

Ensuring that Australia’s wine industry remains profitable, internationally competitive and sustainable into an uncertain future is a major challenge. The industry is under pressure from oversupply of fruit, the high Australian dollar and increasing competition from other ‘new-world’ wine producers.

The Australian wine industry is estimated to be worth $5 billion annually, with approximately 60% of our wines exported. Innovation has underpinned the growth of the Australian wine industry in recent decades, enabling the production of high-volume, value-for-money wines for export, optimising wine outcomes and increasing profitability.

How should the Australian wine industry position itself as consumers become increasingly discerning and wine-savvy? Does remaining competitive in a global market mean embracing any and every existing and emerging technology in both viticulture and winemaking?

Despite advances in technology though, winemaking remains essentially a natural biochemical process which humans have exploited and enjoyed for thousands of years. The basic tools – grapes, yeast, wooden barrels and presses – have remained the same throughout the ages.

Consumers at the premium/boutique end of the market are increasingly savouring the differences between wines, and seeking to know the unique ‘story’ of the wine they are drinking. The wider trend towards ethical consumption, sustainable production practices and reduced use of additives may also suggest that it’s time for a ‘back-to-basics’ approach.

This debate, moderated by Dr Paul Willis, RiAus, will explore these issues and many more, as six experts in two teams argue for your vote.

Will you vote for or against?

Team for the affirmative
Professor Steve Tyerman, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, The University of Adelaide
Dr Dan Johnson, Managing Director, Australian Wine Research Institute
Professor Vlad Jiranek, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, The University of Adelaide

Team for the negative
Mr Brian Croser, AO, Tapanappa winemaker
Professor Barbara Santich, School of History & Politics, The University of Adelaide
Dr Sue Bastian, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide

Thursday 15 March 2012
6:00pm – 8:30pm

Waite Campus
Lirra Lirra Cafe,
Waite Road, Urrbrae

Admission is free, but prior registration is essential as seats are strictly limited.
Go to http://debateatthewaite.eventbrite.com.au/

Free wine tasting and finger food provided